World stocks post gains ahead of US holiday

Associated Press
An investor speaks in front of the stock price monitor at a private securities company Wednesday Nov. 27, 2013 in Shanghai, China. Asian stocks were muted Wednesday as funds switched to better performing markets and trading thinned out ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. (AP Photo)
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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — World stock markets eked out modest gains Wednesday as Wall Street looked set to add to a string of milestones ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Nasdaq composite closed above 4,000 for the first time in 13 years Tuesday. That followed two other round-number moments last week. The Standard & Poor's 500 closed above 1,800 for the first time and the Dow Jones industrial average finished above 16,000.

Dow and S&P futures were both up 0.1 percent.

Francis Lun of GE Oriental Financial Group in Hong Kong said some funds from Asia are being invested in the U.S. and Germany, where stock indexes are setting record highs.

"Fund managers are switching money out of Asia into Europe and America," he said. "That's why the Asian markets are underperforming."

In early European trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent at 6,652.22. Germany's DAX climbed 0.2 percent to 9,310.08 and France's CAC-40 rose 0.2 percent to 4,287.73.

Asian markets gained with the exception of Japan, Australia and Singapore.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.4 percent at 15,449.63. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.5 percent to 23,806.35 and China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.8 percent to 2,201.07. South Korea's Kospi was up 0.3 percent at 2,028.81.

Thailand's stock index climbed 0.9 percent after the central bank unexpectedly cut its policy interest rate by a quarter percentage point as escalating protests to topple the government add to pressure on the economy.

In energy markets, benchmark crude for January delivery was down 31 cents at $93.37 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 41 cents to close at $93.68 on Tuesday.

The euro rose to $1.3585 from $1.3567 late Tuesday. The dollar rose to 101.68 yen from 101.30 yen.

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