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Cautious Mood Dominant In Markets Ahead Of US Data

Overall, trading has been quiet as a lot of people wait for next week's meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee in the U.S. for guidance on the tapering of U.S. government bond purchases, he said. Since late last year, the U.S. Federal Reserve has been buying $85 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds a month â¿¿ a move that has kept long-term rates near record lows and supported economic recovery.

European stocks drifted lower Thursday amid mixed economic and corporate news. Not even an upbeat German business survey or news that the British economy has picked up steam could alter the prevailing selling mood.

U.S. economic figures failed to lift the mood on Wall Street much, with a bigger-than-expected 4.2 percent surge in durable goods orders in June downplayed because it was largely due to elevated aircraft sales. Meanwhile, a 7,000 increase in weekly U.S. jobless claims was more or less in line with expectations.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.37 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 15,555.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 4.31 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,690.25.

The latest run of corporate earnings around the world also failed to excite. Though a number of companies like Facebook have impressed, investors have not shown much willingness to push markets higher on the back of corporate earnings. Among the latest releases, Facebook and General Motors impressed but German chemical company BASF disappointed.

In energy trading, benchmark crude was down 37 cents at $105.13 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 10 cents to close at $105.49 on Thursday.

The euro was little changed at $1.3280 from $1.3277 late Thursday. The dollar dropped to 98.79 yen from 99.15 yen.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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