US stocks drift lower amid soft data

GMT 14:09 2015 Tuesday ,24 March

Arab Today, arab today US stocks drift lower amid soft data

US stocks
New York - XINHUA

U.S. stocks ended mildly lower after wavering in a tight range on Monday, as economic data came out slightly below expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 11.61 points, or 0. 06 percent, to 18,116.04. The S&P 500 lost 3.68 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,104.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 15.44 points, or 0.31 percent, to 5,010.97.
U.S. existing-home sales rose 1.2 percent from 4.82 million in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February, missing market consensus of 4.94 million, the National Association of Realtors said on Monday.
"Existing home sales remained below the 5.0 million mark for the second month in a row as the housing market fails to find sustained strength thus far in the recovery. With housing supply tight and home ownership rates remaining near historical lows in Q4 2014, it looks like it will be another year of slow growth for the housing market," said Sophia Kearney-Lederman, an economic analyst at FTN Financial, in a note.
Investors were still keeping a close eye on the U.S. dollar, which had witnessed big swings recently. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was down 0.90 percent at 97.031 in late trading.
In late New York trading, the euro increased to 1.0944 dollars from 1.0811 dollars in the previous session, while the greenback bought 119.81 Japanese yen, lower than 120.17 yen of the previous session.
Overseas, Chinese Shanghai Composite Index surged 1.95 percent on Monday, logging its ninth straight daily gains, as improved liquidity conditions continued to prop up investors' sentiment.
In Europe, Greece was in the spotlight once again, as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras paid a visit to Berlin on Monday.
Meanwhile, at a hearing in the European Parliament, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Monday that the lending institutions would not create rules for Greece, suggesting that all sides follow existing rules and that no additional aid going to address liquidity difficulty in Greece.
Draghi called on the Greek government to fully honor its debt obligations to all its creditors.
The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, increased 3 percent to end at 13.41 Monday.
In other markets, oil prices increased as the dollar eased against a basket of its peers, making the greenback-priced crude less expensive and more attractive for buyers holding other currencies.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery gained 88 cents to settle at 47.45 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange ( Nymex).
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the Nymex rose as a weaker dollar increased the appeal of greenback-denominated gold.
The most active gold contract for April delivery rose 3.1 dollars, or 0.26 percent, to settle at 1,187.70 dollars per ounce.

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