10:30 AM New York – U.S. weekly jobless claims at the end of last week hovered near a seven-year low. European and Asian markets advanced after U.S. policy makers estimated rates to remain low for at least another two years. Oil traded at elevated level and gold gained.
U.S. stocks opened higher and extended a 4-day rally that took the S&P 500 to a record high and latest weekly jobless claims showed a firming labor market.
S&P 500 index increased 2.26 to 1,959.24 and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 3.34 to 4,366.18.
Jobless claims at the end of last week hovered near 7-year low as employers add more staff and employees run out of benefit period.
Weekly jobless claims at the end of last week declined 7,000 from the previous week to 312,000, Labor Department said today.
The four-week average, which offers a broader view of the labor market, fell 311,750.
Weekly jobless claims hovered near 330,000 in the period before recession between 2004 and 2006, according to the data available on Labor Department website.
European markets advanced following Asia-wide rally after the U.S. Fed policy makers estimated low interest rate environment to continue “for a considerable time” and lowered growth outlook.
Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc soared 6% after the maker commercial aircraft engines maker said it plans to buy back one billion pounds of its own stocks.
Man Group Plc, the U.K. based largest publicly traded hedge-fund manager agreed to acquire Numeric Holdings LLC based in Boston.
Stocks in Tokyo and in Asia gained after the U.S. Fed lowered its growth outlook and also estimated low interest rate regime to continue at least for the next two years.
Market sentiment was strong and the Nikkei index surged and the yen fell below 102 mark after a policy statement released by the Fed at the end of two-day meeting indicated rates to remain low for a “considerable time.”
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 245.36 or 1.6% to 15,361.16 and the broader Topix index jumped 19.89 to 1,269.04.
The yen weakened to close at 101.78 against one U.S. dollar and gold gained more than 1% in Asian trading and Tokai Tokyo Financial and Nissan Chemical advanced on earnings reports.
In Mumbai trading, The Sensex Index fell 44.45 or 0.2% to close at 25,201.80 The CNX Nifty slid 17.50 to 7,540.70.
Crompton Greaves put up a part of its land parcel of Mumbai for sale that is valued much as $200 million.
Engineers India Limited, Indian government controlled contractor signed a contract worth $139 million with Nigeria based company. United Spirits, the largest maker and distributor of beer plunged 7% after the U.K. based Diageo’s open offer to acquire stock ended today.
Reliance Communication plans to raise $400 million to manage debt-laden balance sheet.