The Deal: European Stocks Open in the Red
LONDON (The Deal) -- European markets started the day in the red and with their eyes firmly on the U.S. where a fall in jobless claims prompted fears that the Federal Reserve will reign in monetary stimulus while the prospect of U.S. budgetary gridlock edged ever closer.
U.S. initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 5,000 last week, confounding expectations of a rise that was expected to give the Fed pause as it considers winding down its bond buying.
The FTSE 100 led Friday's modest falls, slipping 20 points or 0.3% to 6545.42. Germany's DAX opened down 15.59 or 0.18% to 1,648.51, while France's CAC 40 was at 4,180.74, down 5.98 or 0.14%. Italy provided Friday's bright note, when its statistical agency Istat said that business confidence was at a two-year high of 96.6 in September, up from 93.4 in August.
In Asia, Japanese markets completed a winning week buoyed by the U.S. jobless figures, stirrings of growth in Japan, which reported inflation of 0.9% in August, and news from China that industrial profits grew 24.2% in August, more than double the July figure.The Nikkei closed Friday at 14,760.07, marginally lower on the day but up 2.47% over the week. The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index closed up 0.35%, or 82.01, at 23,207.04. --Written by Paul Whitfield
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