In European Equity Markets stocks ended a choppy session slightly higher, but saw gains capped as the Bank of England hinted rates could rise in coming months, and as disappointing data from China raised questions about the strength of the world’s second-largest economy. The Stoxx Europe 600 index finished 0.1 percent higher at 381.79, after earlier flipping between small gains and losses. Mining stocks posted some of the biggest losses after China posted a surprise slowdown in business activity in August. Shares of Glencore PLC fell 3.3 percent, Rio Tinto PLC lost 3.4 percent, and steelmaker ArcelorMittal gave up 1.3 percent. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV gained 2.4 percent after the car maker posted a 9.8 percent rise in sales in Europe in August.
In Currency Markets the dollar held losses against a basket of major currencies on Thursday following data that showed a faster-than-forecast increase in domestic consumer prices in August. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major currencies, was down 0.26 percent at 92.281. The euro was little changed at $1.1892, while sterling rose to as high as $1.3358, adding a cent and a half to touch its strongest in more than a year, and to 89.11 pence per euro. Against the Japanese currency, the dollar was steady at 110.56 yen. The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with Aussie down 0.08 at $0.7979 and with Kiwi declining 0.39 percent to $0.7213.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Thursday, with Brent briefly touching a five-month high, a day after the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast the market would continue to tighten as fuel demand increased. Brent crude futures were up 1 percent, at $55.72 a barrel. The session high for the global benchmark was $55.99, its highest since April 13. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was up 1.7 percent, at $50.14 per barrel, its first time over $50 since August. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,324.86 an ounce, above an earlier low of $1,315.71, its weakest since Aug. 31. Silver was down 0.2 percent at $17.69 an ounce, while platinum was up 0.5 percent at $982.30 an ounce and palladium was 0.7 percent lower at $930.50.
In US Equity Markets the major indexes opened lower on Thursday, shying away from their record high closes, as an uptick in consumer prices inflation boosted the odds of another interest rate hike this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.06 percent, at 22,145.65 and the S&P 500 was down 0.26 percent, at 2,491.75. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.52 percent, at 6,426.64. Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were down, with a 0.5 percent decline in technology index on top of the list. Facebook’s 1.2 percent fall dragged on the S&P and the Nasdaq the most. Apple’s shares fell 0.46 percent, staying under pressure on concerns about the pricing and delayed availability of the newly launched iPhone X.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields briefly extended their rise on Thursday with the 10-year yield touching a three-week peak following data that showed a faster-than-forecast 0.4 percent increase in domestic consumer prices in August. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes reached 2.225 percent shortly after the release of the August consumer price index before retreating to 2.195 percent, which was unchanged from late Wednesday. Government bond yields in Germany, the bloc’s biggest economy and its benchmark bond issuer, have climbed more than 13 basis points from 2-1/2 month lows hit at the end of last week.