Thursday November 24th


European stocks notch new three-month highs on Fed slowdown hopes

Markets in the U.S. are closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will close early on Friday. European markets were higher on Thursday as investors assessed the latest meeting minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up more than 0.6% by late morning to hit its highest point since mid-August. Chemicals stocks added 1.1% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses traded in positive territory. Markets in the Asia-Pacific traded higher as the U.S. Federal Reserve said they expect to switch to smaller rate hikes “soon,” according to minutes released on Wednesday. Stocks in Malaysia rose as the state palace announced Anwar Ibrahim as the nation’s prime mininster. The Bank of Korea raised its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points hike to 3.25%. The Kospi rose 0.9% to close at 2,441.33 and the Korean won slightly strengthened against the U.S. dollar to 1,328.2. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.14% to close at 7,241.8. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.95% to 28,383.09 and the Topix also rose 1.21% to 2,018.8. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.25% 3,089.31 while the Shenzhen Component traded 0.147% lower to 10,956.68. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.78% in its final hour of trade. Oil prices fell on Thursday, extending losses from the previous session, as fears of supply disruption eased on news that the Group of Seven (G7) nations were considering a high price cap on Russian oil. A greater-than-expected build-up in U.S. gasoline inventories added to downward pressure. Brent crude futures had slid 43 cents, or 0.5%, to $84.98 a barrel by 0102 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures dropped 35 cents, or 0.5%, to $77.59 a barrel. Both benchmark contracts plunged more than 3% on Wednesday on news that the planned price cap could be above the current market level. Gold prices bounced above the key $1,750 an ounce level on Thursday, consolidating gains after minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest meeting signalled slower interest rate hikes. Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1,755.73 per ounce by 0321 GMT. U.S. gold futures advanced 0.6% to $1,755.90.