SHANGHAI, Sep 17 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The dollar rose and hit its highest level in nearly three weeks against a basket of currencies on Thursday after data showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly increased in August, easing some concerns about a sharp slowdown in economic growth.
The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against six others, added to gains following the report and was last up 0.5% at 92.866. It hit its highest level since Aug. 27.
Retail sales rose 0.7% last month, boosted in part by back-to-school shopping and child tax credit payments, while data for July was revised down.
A separate report showed U.S. initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 332,000 for the week ended Sept. 11. Economists had forecast 330,000 applications for the latest week.
On Wall Street, stock futures were steady in overnight trading on Thursday as investors remain cautious about the month of September.
Dow futures fell 20 points. S&P 500 futures dropped 0.08% and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.09%.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 63 points, after being down as much as 274 points at its low. The S&P 500 fell 0.16%.
The Nasdaq Composite was the outperformer, rising 0.13% as Netflix, Microsoft and Amazon all closed in the green.
Oil prices steadied on Thursday after hitting a multi-week high a day earlier as the threat to U.S. Gulf crude production from Hurricane Nicholas receded.
Brent crude ended the session up 21 cents, or 0.3%, at $75.67 a barrel. On Wednesday Brent touched $76.13, its highest since July 30.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) ended the session unchanged at $72.61 a barrel after climbing to the highest since Aug. 2 on Wednesday.
Gold slid nearly 3% on Thursday and silver lost over 5% as strong U.S. retail sales data boosted the dollar and gave ammunition to bets that the Federal Reserve may hasten its tapering.
Spot gold slid 2.1% to $1,755.75 per ounce by 13:52 p.m. EDT, after hitting an over one-month low of $1,744.30. U.S. gold futures settled down 2.1% at $1,756.70.
Caught in gold’s slipstream, silver was last down 4.3% at $22.79.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.5% by the close, with travel and leisure stocks adding 3% to lead the gains. Basic resources bucked the trend, slipping 2.5%.
Markets in Europe received a weak handover from Asia-Pacific, where Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led the declines among major indexes as casino shares plummeted amid regulatory worries.