Central bank views boost dollar; Wall St ends flat

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New Yrok | Published: November 4, 2014 9:45:15 AM

US stocks ended flat as investors paused after a sharp rally on Friday and ahead of US elections on Tuesday.

Street signs mark the corner of Broadway and Wall Street, in New York's Financial District. (AP)Street signs mark the corner of Broadway and Wall Street, in New York?s Financial District. (AP)

The dollar reached multi-year highs against both the yen and euro on Monday, adding to gains built on the Bank of Japan’s surprise stimulus announcement from last week, but equity markets dipped after weak data from China and Europe.

U.S. stocks ended flat as investors paused after a sharp rally on Friday and ahead of U.S. elections on Tuesday, although economic data pointed to a slowly strengthening economy. The benchmark S&P index briefly pushed to a record 2,024.46 at the high of the session before retreating.

“We got back to the highs in the S&P 500 and Dow rather quickly, so I think you’re running into some resistance and profit-taking,” said Stephen Carl, principal and head of U.S. Equity Trading at The Williams Capital Group.

An index of global equities slipped after data showing China’s economy losing momentum. The MSCI all-country world equity index was off 0.6 percent.

China’s services sector grew at its slowest pace in nine months, the National Bureau of Statistics said, as a cooling property sector weighed on demand.

Another official purchasing managers’ index survey on Saturday showed factory activity in the world’s second-largest economy unexpectedly fell to a five-month low in October as firms fought slowing orders and rising borrowing costs.

Final European manufacturing PMI data for October showed activity in France contracted by less than first reported , while German factory activity rebounded after a slight shrinkage in September.

The disappointing data pulled European shares lower as they retreated from a four-week high. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 0.9 percent at 1,340.38 after rising to as much as 1,355.16, the highest since early October.

Two U.S. industry reports showed the manufacturing sector continues to expand, while automakers reported their strongest October sales in years.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24.28 points, or 0.14 percent, to 17,366.24, the S&P 500 lost 0.24 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,017.81 and the Nasdaq Composite  added 8.17 points, or 0.18 percent, to 4,638.91.

The BOJ last week said it would boost its massive stimulus spending, due to worry about weak growth. There are expectations the European Central Bank, which meets on Thursday, will also eventually resort to large-scale purchases of government bonds.

The dollar climbed as high as 114.20 yen, its highest  since December 2007, and was last up 1.4 percent at 113.85. The euro hit a low of $1.2441, its weakest since August 2012. It was last down 0.3 percent at $1.2489.

The dollar, up 0.5 percent, touched highs not seen since mid-2010 versus a basket of currencies and notched its  fourth straight day of gains.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 3/32, the yield at 2.3443 percent.

The greenback’s strength led to a decline in gold, which held near four-year lows. The metal last traded down 6.8 percent $1,166.25 an ounce.

Oil also came under pressure from the dollar’s climb. Brent crude fell $1.08 to settle at $85.78 a barrel. U.S. crude settled down $1.76 at $78.78, its lowest level since June 2012.

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