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A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, July 4, 2014. Asian stock markets mostly rose Friday after the U.S. reported strong hiring for June. The Nikkei 225 average, the benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, gained 0.6 percent to 15,443.65. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
World markets lackluster on U.S. Independence Day
‘Sick Days’ » World Cup game also distracted many investors in Germany and France.
First Published Jul 04 2014 12:34 pm • Last Updated Jul 04 2014 12:34 pm

London • Following gains on Friday in Asia, where investors cheered a strong U.S. jobs report from the previous day, markets in Europe were lackluster as Wall Street remained closed for the Fourth of July holiday.

On Thursday, markets were buoyed by news that the U.S. economy generated a greater than expected 288,000 jobs in June. Though that increase in itself prompted some analysts to think the Federal Reserve may start raising interest rates sooner than anticipated, many noted that subdued wages may hold the central bank’s hand for a while longer — a potentially positive backdrop for stock markets.

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Trading volumes were low on Friday, however, due to the U.S. holiday. Many investors in France and Germany likely also kept to the sidelines to turn their attention to the World Cup match between their countries later in the afternoon.

"America’s celebration of its independence brings with it the usual quiet day in London, while French and German traders will have been forgiven for long since closing their books and choosing a comfortable spot for a tense start to the weekend," said Will Hedden of IG.

Following gains around the world Thursday following the data that saw the Dow Jones index break 17,000 for the first time, Asian shares got a lift Friday.

Among the main indexes, the Nikkei 225 average, the benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, gained 0.6 percent to finish at 15,437.13 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.1 percent to 23,546.36.

In Europe, the mood was flatter with the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closing flat at 6,866.05 and Germany’s DAX shedding 0.2 percent to 10,009.08. The CAC-40 in France fell 0.5 percent to 4,468.98.

The market tone was equally subdued elsewhere with the euro 0.1 percent lower at $1.3599 and the dollar 0.1 percent down at 102.07 yen.




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