Global stocks steady as Dow tries again to breach 20,000

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Global stock markets were trading in narrow ranges Wednesday after U.S. stocks hit record levels despite attacks in Germany and Turkey.

Traders looked ahead toward another possible bid for 20,000 by the Dow industrials while the euro recovered slightly against the dollar despite predictions the 19-country shared currency will fall further in coming weeks.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was off 0.2 percent 7,029 while Germany's DAX fell 0.1 percent to 11,456. France's CAC-40 was 0.5 percent lower at 4,823. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were little changed at 19,905.00 while those for the S&P 500 index pointed down 0.9 percent ahead of the U.S. open.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "It's a good day to be an equity bull, however, it's a slow grind higher as opposed to an explosion in demand and the moves we are seeing in many markets are fairly subdued," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, said in a commentary.

GLOBAL ATTACKS: Measured reactions in Turkey and Russia after a gunman killed Russian's ambassador to Turkey suggest the two sides will persist in trying to resolve differences over the war in Syria. The assassination came ahead of a meeting Wednesday on Syria involving Turkey, which backs opponents of President Bashar Assad's government, and Russia and Iran, which support the Syrian regime. Meanwhile, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a truck attack on a crowded Berlin Christmas market that killed at least 12 people and injured 48. Germany is not involved in anti-IS combat operations, but has Tornado jets and a refueling plane stationed in Turkey in support of the coalition fighting militants in Syria.

EURO RESISTANCE: The euro regained some of its recent losses against the dollar, rising by 0.4 percent to $1.0429. Analysts say the euro may fall to parity — one to one — with the U.S. dollar sometime in the New Year. Expectations for higher interest rates next year from the U.S. Federal Reserve have sent the dollar higher. The eurozone faces a turbulent 2017, when elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands will give right-wing parties that oppose the euro a chance to test their level of support.

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.1 percent to 3,137.43 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.4 percent to 21,809.80. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.3 percent to 19,444.49 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.4 percent to 5,613.50. Seoul's Kospi retreated 0.2 percent to 2,037.96 and India's Sensex added 0.2 percent to 26,350.10. Jakarta declined while New Zealand and other Southeast Asian benchmarks rose.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 34to $53.64 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 35 cents to $55.66 in London.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 117.15 yen from Tuesday's 117.88 yen.


McDonald contributed from Beijing.

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