By Carla Mozee and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
German business sentiment stays steady
European stocks scored modest gains Thursday, with mining shares battling against dollar strength during a quieter-than-usual session with U.S. markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3% to 341.84. 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 were 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).
"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," Beauchamp added.
In Europe, the basic resources group performed well Thursday, rising 0.8% as most mining shares fending off strength in the U.S. dollar. The U.S. Dollar Index jumped to a fresh 13-year high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-maintains-strength-as-case-hardens-for-a-fed-rate-hike-2016-11-24), but then eased back. The gain came 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 1.6%, and ArcelorMittal SA (MT) gained 1.4%. But BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) shed 0.2% and Randgold Resources PLC (RRS.LN) slipped 0.1% as gold prices fell further 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) finished down 0.1%. But the stock had fallen by more than 2% earlier Thursday after the German industrial conglomerate's full-year profit fell short of expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/thyssenkrupp-profit-falls-as-steel-struggles-2016-11-24) 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 index came 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 0.3% to close at 10,689.26, while France's CAC 40 gained 0.3% to 4,542.56. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to end at 6,829.20.
The euro bought $1.0567, up a bit from $1.0555 late Wednesday. The shared currency has been wading around levels not seen in about a year.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 24, 2016 11:51 ET (16:51 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.