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World stocks slightly lower, US inches higher

First Published      Last Updated Nov 26 2013 08:56 am

Amsterdam • World stock markets were mostly lower Tuesday, but U.S. stocks drifted higher on decent housing data.

U.S. stocks have enjoyed seven weeks of gains and hit all-time highs this week, driven by the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy, signs of gradual improvement in the economy and rising company profits. But trading activity is thinning out this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday.

Data from the Commerce Department showed more applications to build new homes were issued in October than any time since before the 2008 crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Index opened 0.2 percent higher at 16,099.60 and the S&P 500 was up 0.1 percent at 1,804.82.

In late European trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.5 percent at 6,663.85. Germany's DAX was down fractionally at 9,298.6 and France's CAC-40 was 0.2 percent lower at 4,292.25.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.7 percent lower at 15,515.24 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was nearly unchanged at 23,681.28. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent to 2,183.07. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1 percent to 5,357.

In energy markets, benchmark crude for January delivery gave up early gains and was 5 cents higher at $94.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract had fallen 75 cents on Monday on news of Iran's deal with western governments on nuclear development.

The euro rose slightly to $1.3537 from 1.3526 late Monday in New York. The dollar strengthened slightly to 101.57 yen from 101.40 yen.

AP correspondent Teresa Cerojano in Manila, Philippines contributed to this story.