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Global markets steady in quiet trading on U.S. holiday

Global markets steady in quiet trading on U.S. holiday
A man walks in front of an electric quotation board displaying the Nikkei key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on Nov. 16. (Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP/Getty Images)

Global stock markets were steady Thursday as the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. kept trading levels subdued.

Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.2% to 6,829.20 and France's CAC 40 rose 0.3% to 4,542.56. Germany's DAX also gained 0.3% to 10,689.26 after a survey showed businesses in the country remained optimistic in November despite concerns over a slowdown in global commerce and what Donald Trump's election in the U.S. might mean for trade.

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The Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 indexes set records this week in pre-holiday trading. Machinery and equipment makers climbed but technology companies fell. U.S. markets were closed Thursday and will close early on Friday.

"Volumes have been poor and that's hardly a surprise given the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday but the juggernaut that is the bull market continues, albeit slowly," Chris Weston of IG said in a report. He said the Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks, where the real momentum is, gained for the 14th day in a row. Weston said the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to go ahead with an interest rate hike in December, especially after the release of a slew of strong economic data. Mizuho Bank in Singapore said the strong dollar continued to be the dominant theme, putting most currencies under selling pressure.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.9% to 18,333.41. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 and Shanghai Composite Index were flat at 5,485.10 and 3,241.74 respectively. Seoul's Kospi lost 0.8% to 1,971.26 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3% to 22,608.49. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Singapore rose, but Taiwan, India and Indonesia retreated.

The dollar rose to 113.34 yen from Wednesday's 112.60 yen, while the euro strengthened to $1.0555 from $1.0549.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1 cent to $47.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slipped 7 cents on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 2 cents to $48.93 in London. The contract lost 17 cents in the previous session.

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