By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
German business sentiment stays steady
European stocks clung to modest gains Thursday, with mining shares battling against dollar strength during what should be a quieter-than-usual session with U.S. markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Stoxx Europe 600 was up a slight 0.1% at 341.05, although all sectors were showing gains. The index on Wednesday closed down by 0.1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-search-for-direction-as-miners-rise-italian-banks-drop-2016-11-23).
"The usual Thanksgiving calm has descended across markets, as European investors reconcile themselves to a day of low volumes and quiet trading," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, in an note.
U.S. equity markets and the bond market are closed Thursday for the holiday, and equity trading hours will be shortened on Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-when-markets-close-on-black-friday-2016-11-18).
"A long, empty afternoon stretches before us, with the limited moves we have seen so far likely to dominate throughout the day," said Beauchamp. "The big question is whether the rally of the past couple of weeks in U.S. assets is now complete, or whether the return of normal trading on Monday will see fresh buying pressure."
In Europe, the basic materials group was the top performing sector on Thursday, with most mining shares fending off strength in the U.S. dollar. The U.S. Dollar Index had approached 14-year highs after strong economic data Wednesday stoked expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December. A higher dollar can hurt dollar-denominated metals prices and related stocks.
Sweden's Boliden AB (BOL.SK) rose 1.4% and Fresnillo PLC (FRES.LN) gained 1.2%. But BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) shed 0.7% and Randgold Resources PLC (RRS.LN) slipped 0.2% as gold prices fell below $1,200 an ounce (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-futures-fall-further-below-1200-mark-2016-11-24). Precious metals, which don't offer a yield, have also felt the pinch of rising bond yields as investors seek out investments that bear a yield.
Movers: Thyssenkrupp AG shares (TKA.XE) were up 0.8%. But the stock had fallen by more than 2% earlier Thursday after the German industrial conglomerate's full-year profit fell short of expectations as it battles pressure on its steel business.
Economic data:German business sentiment was steady in November (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/german-ifo-economy-unfazed-by-trump-victory-2016-11-24), with the Ifo institute saying its business climate indexcame in at 110.4 points in November, broadly in line with analysts' forecasts.
"The German economy seems to be unfazed by the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president," said Ifo President Clemens Fuest, following the publication of the monthly survey.
The Ifo business climate index came in at 110.4 points in November, unchanged from October and broadly in line with analysts' forecasts. The October figure, however, was revised down from 110.5 previously reported.
Indexes: Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.1% to 10,677.83, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.2% to 4,536.15. Spain's IBEX 35 edged up 0.2% at 8,647.30.
Italy's FTSE MIB rose 0.2% to 16,751.67. But the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 0.2% at 6,807.06.
The euro bought $1.0555, about as much as it did late Thursday. The shared currency has been wading around levels not seen in about a year.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 24, 2016 05:43 ET (10:43 GMT)
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