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Stocks Drop as Central Bankers Offer no Policy Clues

By William Wilkes Features Dow Jones Newswires

Stocks slipped Monday after U.S. and European central bankers didn't offer fresh policy guidance at the Jackson Hole central bankers meeting.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 0.4% in the early minutes of trading, mirroring minor falls in Asia. Futures pointed to a small opening decline on Wall Street.

Trading volume was thin as U.K. markets were closed for a public holiday.

There were "no clear policy clues from the Jackson Hole central bankers' symposium," said Rob Carnell, head of Asia research at ING, which "left investors pondering."

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi were silent on the issue of future monetary policy at the meeting, though investors were hoping for clearer guidance.

The euro slipped 0.1% against the dollar to $1.1933 in morning trading after climbing steadily so far this year. The dollar, meanwhile, has weakened against a basket of 16 currencies, in part due to expectations that U.S. interest rates would rise only gradually.

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Asia-Pacific equity markets struggled to find direction, though China-related stocks rose on firm corporate earnings figures.

The Nikkei Stock Average was flat, constrained by a stronger yen. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.6%, New Zealand's NZX 50 fell 0.4% and Korea's Kospi was off 0.4%. Stocks in China were higher, however, with the Shanghai Composite Index gaining 0.9%, driven by gains in banking stocks on expectations of solid first-half earnings.

In commodities, Brent crude traded broadly flat at $52.38 a barrel as investors monitored the impact of Hurricane Harvey in he U.S. Crude prices fell late last week on expectations that refiners' near-term demand for oil in the region will fall faster than offshore production, said investment bank OCBC.

Write to William Wilkes at william.wilkes@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 28, 2017 04:28 ET (08:28 GMT)