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Weekend markets: No thanks at thanksgiving

Blue chip stocks on Wall Street turned in their worst Thanksgiving week performance since markets began observing the holiday in 1942.

Nevil Gibson
Sat, 26 Nov 2011

Blue chip stocks on Wall Street turned in their worst Thanksgiving week performance since markets began observing the holiday in 1942.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 564.38 points or 4.8% to 11,231.78 over the week, capped by a 25.77-point slide on Friday. Trading was thin on a limited post-Thanksgiving session.

The Dow has fallen 7.6% over the last two weeks and is now down 3% for the year.

Investor sentiment remains poor due to continued uneasiness over Europe's sovereign-debt problems and the failure of US lawmakers to reach a deal on reducing the budget deficit.

The S&P 500 index dropped 0.27% to 1158.67. It has shed 7.9% over the course of a seven-session losing streak.

The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.75% to 2441.51. It was fourth straight weekly decline, dropping 11% throughout the period.

Other markets: Europe ends losing streak, Asia falls
European stocks ended a six-session losing streak even as leaders of the eurozone's three biggest nations – France, Germany and Italy – ruled out expanding the European Central Bank's role to help support weaker eurozone states.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.7% to 221.54, having lost 7.2% over the six down sessions.

Germany's DAX 30 index jumped 1.2% to 5492.87, the French CAC 40 index rose 1.2% to 2856.97 and the UK's FTSE 100 index gained 0.7% to 5164.65.

Asia markets closed mostly lower, with energy and banking stocks notable decliners.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index shed 1.5% to 3984.3, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.4% to 17,689.48, Korea's Kospi declined 1% to 1776.40 and China's Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.7% to 2380.22. India's Sensex fell 1% to 15,695.43.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average traded nearly flat, ending down 0.1% at 8160.01, its lowest closing level in nearly 32 months.

Commodities: Oil steady, gold down
Oil prices see-sawed before finishing flat in slow trading after Thanksgiving.

Light, sweet crude futures for January delivery ended up 60USc, or 0.6%, at $US96.77 a barrel in New York. For the week, the contract fell 0.9%.

Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange ended down $US1.38, or 1.3%, at $US106.40 a barrel. It was the lowest settlement since October 7, and the contract was down 1.1% for the week.

Gold futures settled lower for the third time in four sessions. The contract for November delivery fell $US10.20, or 0.6%, to $US1,685.50 an ounce in New York.

For the week, futures fell 2.3%, dropping below the $US1700 mark for the first time since late October.

Currencies: Euro rises then falls
The euro fell back to 1.2323 Swiss francs from 1.2274 late on Thursday after hitting a session high of 1.2381.

Traders expected a Swiss central bank move to move the franc’s floor above €1.20 but the speculation proved untrue.

The decline in the euro was further aided by a Standard & Poor's downgrade of Belgium's sovereign-debt rating.

At the close, the euro was to $US1.3246 from $US1.3347 late on Thursday. It was at ¥102.89 from ¥102.90.

The US dollar rallied against the Swiss franc. The dollar traded at 0.9315 franc from 0.9197 franc late on Thursday.

The dollar rose sharply against the yen as well. The dollar rose to ¥77.76 from ¥77.12.

Nevil Gibson
Sat, 26 Nov 2011
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Weekend markets: No thanks at thanksgiving