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VOL. 39 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 4, 2015

European markets soothed by Chinese assurances

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LONDON (AP) — Attempts by Chinese officials to reassure investors helped European markets post some modest gains Monday, on a day when trading activity was diminished by a U.S. holiday.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC-40 closed up 0.6 percent at 4,549.64 while Germany's DAX rose 0.7 percent to 10,108.61. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares ended 0.5 percent higher at 6,074.52. Wall Street was closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

CHINA RHETORIC: China's central bank governor, finance minister and securities agency all tried to reassure investors over the weekend that market turmoil was ending. At a meeting of the Group of 20 major economies. People's Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan said Beijing's intervention averted a bigger crisis, according to a central bank statement.

ASIA'S DAY: Despite those attempts to reassure, the Shanghai Composite Index ended 2.5 percent lower to 3,080.42 after fluctuating between gains and losses. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.2 percent to 20,583.52. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent to 17,860.47 while India's Sensex declined 0.3 percent to 23,135.45. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.2 percent to 5,030.40 and Seoul's Kospi was off 0.2 percent at 1,883.22.

US JITTERS: The U.S. remains in focus in the run-up to next week's policy meeting of the Federal Reserve. A mixed August jobs report has left investors wondering what the Fed will do. Friday's figures showed the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low but employers adding fewer jobs than forecast. The Fed has kept its benchmark interest rate close to zero since late 2008, which has pushed up stock prices.

ANALYST TAKE: "Given that Chinese investors are back after a short break last week, coupled with increased uncertainty about the Fed's next policy move ... stock market volatility could remain high," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Forex.com.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.50 to $44.55 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost $1.70 to $47.91 in London.

CURRENCIES: Trading in currency markets was subdued with the euro up 0.2 percent at $1.1171 and the dollar 0.3 percent higher at 119.35 yen.

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