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While you were sleeping: US dollar strengthens

Thursday 24th November 2016

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The US dollar rose to the highest level in more than a decade as the latest economic data bolstered bets for rising interest rates.

Federal Reserve policy makers are widely expected to hike their target interest rate when they meet next month.

A Commerce Department report showed that orders for US durable goods—products meant to last at least three years—climbed a better-than-expected 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted US$239.4 billion from the previous month.

A separate report showed that the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to a final reading of 93.8 in November, the highest level since May and up from 87.2 in October.

"One thing we can give thanks for this Thanksgiving Day weekend is the economy," Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania, told Reuters. "It is in good shape and is starting to accelerate."

US financial markets are closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

US Treasuries fell, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year note eight basis points, higher to 2.39 percent.

Wall Street was mixed, near record highs. In 1.17pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3 percent. In 1.02pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.06 percent.

Earlier in the session Dow touched a record high 19,074.51.

In the Dow, advances in shares of Caterpillar and those of Verizon Communications, last up 2.6 percent and 1.6 percent respectively, outweighed slides in shares of Microsoft and those of Intel, last 1.3 percent and 0.9 percent weaker respectively.

Shares of Deere jumped, traded 10.1 percent higher at noon in New York, after the maker of farm equipment posted earnings and a full-year forecast that bettered expectations amid a worldwide industry recession as it cut costs.

For fiscal 2017, net sales and revenue will decline about 1 percent from US$26.6 billion in the previous fiscal year, with net income is expected to fall to about US$1.4 billion, down from US$1.52 billion.

“The industry stuff doesn’t sound any better,” Stephen Volkmann, an analyst at Jefferies in New York, told Bloomberg. “They’re kind of focused on what they can control, which is costs. Historically, this is a big, slow-moving company. They’re more nimble this cycle.”

Shares of Eli Lilly sank, last down 10.7 percent in New York, after the company said an experimental Alzheimer's drug failed to show statistically significant slowing in cognitive decline compared to patients treated with placebo. It said it won’t seek regulatory approval for the drug. 

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with a 0.1 percent fall from the previous close. Germany’s DAX Index fell 0.5 percent, while France’s CAC 40 Index declined 0.4 percent, and the UK’s FTSE 100 Index inched 0.03 percent lower.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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