European stocks closed lower Thursday amid concerns over the the fragility of the Italian banking system and as trading desks began to thin out before the long Christmas break. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.21% to end at 359.82. Germany’s DAX 30 index eased 0.11% to 11,456.10.France’s CAC 40 index closed up 0.02% to 4,834.63, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.32% to 7063.68. Italy’s FTSE MIB index fell 0.5% to 19,121.26.
U.S. equities fell on Thursday, on thinlytraded preholiday session with modest losses and consumer discretionary lagging, as investors digested a series of economic data. The Dow Jones industrial average failed to reach a key psychological level.The S&P 500 closed 4.22 points, or 0.19%, lower at 2,260.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 23.08 points, or 0.12%, lower at 19,918.88. Nasdaq Composite declined 24.01 points, or 0.44%, at 5,447.42.
Oil prices rose in quiet trading, supported by strong U.S. economic data, a pause in the U.S. dollar rally and optimism that crude producers would abide by an agreement to limit output. Brent futures for February delivery rose 59 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $55.05 a barrel. U.S Wes tTexas Intermediate Crude settled up 46 cents, or 0.88 percent to $52.95 a barrel, after closing the previous session down 81 cents.
Gold edged slightly higher was up 0.3 percent to $15.98 an ounce on Thursday, as the dollar remained under pressure after the release of a batch of mixed U.S. economic data. Spot Gold was down 0.23 percent at $1,129.10 an ounce, while U.S. Gold Futures for February delivery settled at at $1,130.70 an ounce. Silver was up 0.3 percent to $15.98 an ounce