By Sam Forgione
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK U.S. and European stocks were little changed on Thursday as investors digested testimony from former FBI Director James Comey before a Senate panel, while the euro fell after the European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold and oil prices briefly touched one-month lows. Comey told U.S. lawmakers in the congressional hearing he had no doubt that Russia had interfered with the 2016 election but was confident that no votes had been altered. The Dow briefly hit a record intraday high of 21,265.69 during the testimony, while the Nasdaq Composite closed at a record high after a boost from Yahoo (YHOO.O) and Nvidia (NVDA.O) shares.[nL1N1J50C1]Investors were awaiting the outcome of the UK general election as Britons voted on Thursday in a snap vote predicted to give Prime Minister Theresa May a larger parliamentary majority. [nL8N1J553V]The FTSEurofirst 300 of top European equities briefly hit a three-week low of 1,526.29 after the ECB said subdued inflation meant it would continue to pump more stimulus into the region's economy. In reference to Comey's testimony, Jefferies & Co money market economist Thomas Simons said: "I think the market is taking less of an alarmist review of this situation because there is no smoking gun here. So it's not particularly impactful for thinking about...Trump's economic agenda to go through."
MSCI's all-country world equity index .MIWD00000PUS was last down 0.39 points, or 0.08 percent, at 467.24.The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI closed up 8.84 points, or 0.04 percent, at 21,182.53. The S&P 500 .SPX closed up 0.65 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,433.79. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC ended up 24.38 points, or 0.39 percent, at 6,321.76.[nZXN0R1B2I]Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 closed down 0.04 percent at 1,528.71.
The euro hit its lowest since May 31 against the U.S. dollar of $1.1196 EUR= after the ECB announcement. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last up 0.2 percent at 96.967. [nL1N1J51P7]Oil prices edged lower, with benchmark Brent crude and U.S. crude prices hitting respective one-month lows of $47.56 and $45.20 after an unexpected surge in U.S. inventories and the return of more Nigerian crude aggravated concerns about a worldwide glut.
"The market is catching its breath after the inventory report which, as far as the oil market was concerned, stunk," said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.Brent crude LCOc1 settled down 20 cents, or 0.42 percent, at $47.86 per barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 settled down 8 cents, or 0.17 percent, at $45.64 per barrel. U.S. Treasury yields edged higher as investors focused instead on next week's expected interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, with benchmark 10-year yields US10YT=RR last at 2.195 percent compared to 2.180 percent late Wednesday. [nL1N1J51SQ]The dollar's gains pushed gold prices lower. Spot gold prices XAU= were last down 0.63 percent at $1,278.30 an ounce.[nL3N1J538R] (Additional reporting by Marc Jones in London, Saqib Iqbal Ahmed, Dion Rabouin, Julia Simon and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chizu Nomiyama)
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Updated Date: Jun 09, 2017 04:00 AM