Sterling pares losses after PM calls for election; stocks inch up
By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - The pound was weaker but pared losses against the dollar on Thursday in the wake of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for a Dec. 12 election to break the country's deadlock over its planned exit from the European Union, while global stock markets edged up.
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The pound was weaker but pared losses against the dollar on Thursday in the wake of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for a Dec. 12 election to break the country's deadlock over its planned exit from the European Union, while global stock markets edged up.
Johnson said in a letter to opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn he would give Parliament more time to approve his Brexit deal but that lawmakers must back a December election.
EU member states on Wednesday delayed a decision on whether to grant Britain a three-month Brexit extension.
Stocks were flat to higher, with upbeat earnings from Microsoft https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks/wall-street-set-to-open-higher-on-microsoft-tesla-results-idUSKBN1X31IJ
"When earnings season began, the bar was set pretty low, and now a host of companies have reported and beaten expectations ... But I wouldn't say we are completely out of the woods," said Brian Yacktman, chief investment officer at YCG Fund in Austin, Texas.
The S&P 500 briefly moved lower after comments from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who accused China of curtailing "rights and liberties" in Hong Kong but also insisted that the United States does not seek confrontation or to "de-couple" from its main economic rival.
The latest estimate for third-quarter earnings for companies on the benchmark U.S. S&P 500 index improved slightly. Earnings are expected to have declined 2.3% year-over-year in the quarter versus an estimated decline of 2.9% on Wednesday, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Third-quarter earnings reports took centre stage on Wall Street, with investors trying to gauge the fallout from a prolonged U.S.-China trade war, which has already shown up in the domestic economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 57.59 points, or 0.21%, to 26,776.36, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 2.2 points, or 0.07%, to 3,006.72 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 51.21 points, or 0.63%, to 8,171.01.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.27%. The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> rose 0.59%.
German companies, including Daimler, helped to boost Europe's indexes.
In commodities markets, U.S. crude
Benchmark 10-year notes
(Additional reporting by Marc Jones in London and Shreyashi Sanyal and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru and Sujata Rao; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Dan Grebler)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.