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Investors take stock with Christmas looming

By Charlotte Ricca

Bank of England votes to keep its lending rate unchanged at 0.75 per cent

With the Christmas holidays looming and 2020 on its last legs, investors look to be taking stock rather than trading it.

Even news of Donald Trump’s impeachment failed to shake things up. While Nasdaq enjoyed its fifth consecutive record close ­– the longest record streak since January 2018 – it remained relatively unmoved, with an increase of 0.53% per cent, at 8,873.87 at 12:30 EST.

The Dow Jones was up 0.39 per cent at 28,346.65, while the S&P increased by 0.29 per cent, to 3,200.55 at the time of writing.

The FTSE 100 was close to its intra-day high after the Queen's speech in parliament outlining the government's new programme. Yet the rise was just 0.44 per cent to reach 7,573.82.

Asian markets dipped in Thursday's early trading after the Bank of Japan voted to keep short-term interest rates at minus 0.1 per cent and long-term rates at around 0 per cent.

The Bank of England also voted to keep its lending rate unchanged at 0.75 per cent, which saw the pound build on earlier gains over the euro and dollar. The pound was up 0.03 per cent against the euro at 1.1774 and 0.21 per cent against the US dollar at 1.3106.

Bitcoin rose by over 10 per cent on Wednesday, its biggest single-day gain since the end of October. However, with the currency currently trading at $7,143, bull reversal is still around $770 away.

Ethereum jumped to $134.00 during early Asian hours, but has since fallen 4.7 per cent to settle at $127.15 at the time of writing.

Trading was also thin for the oil market, with prices hovering near three-month peaks.

Brent crude futures were down seven cents at $66.10 a barrel at lunchtime, after five straight days of gains. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell one cent to $60.83 a barrel.

FURTHER READING: Bank of England says rogue traders had early access to briefings

FURTHER READING: Oil markets in the green, stay close to three-month highs on trade deal agreement

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