Global stocks were mixed on Thursday as investors looked to see whether the Dow Jones industrial might add to its record close from the day before. The pound slumped after the Bank of England kept its key interest rate at a record low.
KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent to 5,126 while Germany's DAX was down 0.2 percent at 12,155. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.5 percent to 7,447. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow and S&P 500 futures both down 0.1 percent.
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UPBEAT COMPANIES: Upbeat earnings from Apple pushed U.S. markets higher the day before, with the Dow closing above 22,000 for the first time. Investors appear wary of any further major gains and are keeping an eye on more earnings reports for clues. In Europe, profits at industrial giant Siemens and carmaker BMW rose more than expected.
BRITISH CAUTION: The Bank of England left its key rate at a record low and cut its growth forecasts for Britain. The pound fell as a result, as the decision indicated the central bank is unlikely to raise rates any time soon. The British currency was down 0.7 percent at $1.3127.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent to finish at 20,029.26. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2 percent to 5,735.10. South Korea's Kospi sank 1.7 percent to 2,386.85. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3 percent to 27,531.01, while the Shanghai Composite skidded 0.4 percent to 3,272.93. India's Sensex fell 0.5 percent to 32,310.37 and markets in Southeast Asia also dropped.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 17 cents to $49.76 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 43 cents to $49.59 overnight. Brent crude, the international standard, added 19 cents to $52.55 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar was down to 110.38 yen from 110.69 yen the day before, while the euro fell to $1.1852 from $1.1856.
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