US markets resilient but consumer confidence down in US and UK

Political uncertainty and the Thanksgiving holiday have contributed to a relatively quiet week for the markets

It’s been a decidedly staid week with Wall Street gaining pounds rather than dollars as it feasts on Thanksgiving Day turkey. Online retailers will be happy with estimates that Black Friday spending could hit $4.4 billion in the US alone.

With reduced trading hours over the holiday, 0'>S&P 500 was around 3,146.27 in late morning trading in New York, a drop of 0.23 per cent. The 0'>Nasdaq saw a drop of 0.19 per cent at 8688.58, while the 0'>Dow Jones was down 0.31 per cent.

Despite the lack of activity, US stock markets are at an all-time high, possibly due to rising hopes over a trade deal between the US and China.

The 0'>FTSE 100 also has the Friday feeling and has been doing little in the way of work this afternoon, closing the day down 0.94 per cent at 7346.53. The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 also ended the day slightly down, with a 0.44 per cent drop.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped more than 2 per cent to 26,346.49 in the week when Donald Trump signed a bill supporting Hong Kong’s anti-Beijing protesters.

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Also in a slump is UK consumer confidence, which has dipped to a six-year low in the face of the country’s election and Brexit uncertainty. It has fallen to -14 points from -12 points in September this year but is only down one point since November 2018 when it was -13. However, with market expectations of a Conservative majority in the December 12 election, the 0'>pound was up 0.1 per cent on the day against the euro in late afternoon trading, at around €1.1726. It had also risen 0.24 per cent against the 0'>US dollar, to around $1.2938 by late afternoon.

The euro appears to have gone into early hibernation, with just a 0.38 per cent difference between its highest and lowest points 0'>against the dollar. According to Refinitiv data, this makes it the euro’s quietest week since its introduction in January 1999.

0'>Bitcoin looks set to end November with its biggest monthly loss of 2019. In late afternoon trading the cryptocurrency was priced at around $7,750, representing a 17 per cent loss from the opening price of $9,586 at the beginning of the month.

Things are also looking bearish for 0'>gold, which is headed for its lowest weekly close in four months, slipping to $10 per ounce. Trading at $1454, its price has lost 6.7 per cent from September's 6.5-year high.

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