Markets on Hold a Day After Wall Street Clinched Fresh Record -- Update

By Riva Gold and Suryatapa BhattacharyaFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Stocks little changed in Europe and Asia

-- ECB minutes eyed

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-- Spanish assets recover

Stocks showed signs of stalling Thursday a day after gains in internet retailers pushed the S&P 500 to its seventh straight session of advances.

Futures pointed to a flat opening on Wall Street, following muted moves in Europe and Asia, where many markets were closed for holidays.

If the S&P 500 does end the day higher Thursday, it would be its longest streak of records since 1997. U.S. stocks have been buoyed in recent sessions by continued signs that the economy remains on track and expectations of another quarter of above-average earnings growth.

"Investors understand data will be flipping over next month due to the impact of hurricanes," said Dave Donabedian, chief investment officer at CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management. "But I still think there will be rising confidence in the idea that this economic expansion is not over."

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 edged down 0.2% midmorning after snapping a nine-session winning streak on Wednesday, its longest in over two years.

Spanish stocks showed signs of recovering, however, with Spain's IBEX 35 index adding 0.8%--led by gains in utility companies--after sliding 2.9% Wednesday, its biggest percentage decline in more than a year.

Catalonia set a course toward declaring its secession from Spain as soon as Monday as Catalan President Carles Puigdemont made a televised address in which he took issue with a speech Spain's king made the previous evening admonishing Catalonia's leaders for "inadmissible disloyalty."

Investors were also waiting for the European Central Bank to release minutes from its September meeting later Thursday. ECB President Mario Draghi signaled after that meeting that his bank could announce a plan to gradually end its bond-buying program in 2018.

Investors will also be watching closely for any commentary on this year's 11.9% appreciation of the common currency and the impact it may have on policy decisions. The euro was last up 0.1% at $1.1776.

Yields on German and U.S. government bonds were little changed while Spanish 10-year yields fell to 1.744% from 1.765% and Italian yields fell to 2.231% from 2.244% after climbing to start the week.

Earlier, Asian equity markets were broadly higher, led by a rebound in Singapore's banking and real-estate stocks. The FTSE Straits Times Index was up 0.7% after two sessions of declines.

The Nikkei Stock Average was unchanged with few economic data releases on the docket ahead of Friday's U.S. jobs report. Still, slight gains in the dollar against the yen earlier helped support exporters' shares, as a weaker yen raises the value in local currency terms of the dollars earned by Japanese exporters abroad.

Trading in the region was otherwise muted as several key markets were shut for holidays. Markets in South Korea and China are closed for the entire week, while Hong Kong was shut on Thursday.

Kosaku Narioka contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 05, 2017 05:44 ET (09:44 GMT)