U.S. stocks fell modestly Thursday as a very overbough market was subject to finding an excuse for profit taking. This came in the form of a late day rumor that in tomorrow's Federal Reserve speech some comments about tapering would be emphasized by Ben Bernanke. Of course this is silly in the big picture as the FOMC put language in their statement just a few weeks ago about expansion of asset purchases but with stocks so extended any excuse would do for a small selloff. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% and NASDAQ 0.1%. The U.S. dollar broke through 100 yen, its highest level against the currency in over four years. The yen is on track for eight straight months of declines against the greenback, shedding more than 30 percent since its September high near 77.
- U.S. initial jobless claim fell by 4,000 last week to 323,000, compared with expectations for a rise to 335,000
Oil fell 0.2% to $96.39, gold 0.35% to $1468.60, and silver 0.1% to $23.91.
British stocks gained 0.1% and German stocks 0.2%, while French stocks dropped 0.7%.
- The Bank of England kept its monetary policy unchanged, as was expected.
- U.K. industrial production rose 0.7% in March, against expectations for a 0.4% increase.
Japan fell 0.7% and China 0.6%.
- China's Consumer Price Index rose by 2.4% on-year, exceeding forecasts of a 2.2% increase.
- The Bank of Korea cut interest rates by 25 basis points, joining the global central bank currency wars.