By Riva Gold

European stocks inched higher Thursday after Wall Street climbed to record highs for a third consecutive session.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.2% in morning trading, with all but the utilities and real-estate sectors in positive territory.

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 notched fresh records on Wednesday, while the dollar climbed to its highest in 14 years, on expectations for stronger U.S. growth and higher U.S. interest rates.

U.S. markets were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving, while the WSJ Dollar Index added 0.1%.

"The reflationary theme is sucking money back into the U.S. stock market and injecting huge shock waves through foreign exchange markets," said Jane Foley,currency strategist at Rabobank, referring to expectations that tax cuts and less regulation will boost corporate profits and the U.S. economy.

The latest leg higher followed strong U.S. economic data on Wednesday including durable goods orders, a measure of consumer sentiment and fresh hints the Federal Reserve would likely raise interest rates in December.

Fed officials said a rate rise was possible "relatively soon" if incoming data continued to show an improving economy, minutes from the bank's November meeting showed.

U.S. government bonds sold off, sending the 10-year Treasury yield to its highest since July 2015, while stock markets and the dollar extended a recent rally on Wednesday.

Earlier Thursday, markets in Asia mostly moved lower amid concerns that higher U.S. interest rates and a stronger dollar could hurt emerging markets and worsen capital flight from Asia. South Korea's KOSPI index fell 0.8%, while HongKong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.3%.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average advanced 0.9%, however, as a weaker yen boosted shares of exporters. The dollar was last up 0.3% against the yen at Yen112.9580 after rising to as higher as Yen113.5310 earlier. The yen has fallen over 7% against the dollar so far this month.

In bond markets, the yield on 10-year German government bonds fell to 0.249% from 0.277% on Wednesday. 10-year Japanese government bond yields fell to 0.033%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Willa Plank contributed to this article

Write to Riva Gold at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 24, 2016 05:55 ET (10:55 GMT)

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