Europe, US equities unfazed by deadly attacks

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NEW YORK: European stock markets churned higher on Tuesday, and Wall Street edged ever closer to the 20,000-point milestone for the Dow, unfazed by deadly attacks in Turkey and Germany.

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Paris, London and Frankfurt pulled off moderate gains at closing, a day after fatal attacks that dominated the news headlines.

The Dow, meanwhile, finished at a fresh record of 19,974.62, up 0.5 percent. The index got to within 13 points of the 20,000 landmark early in the session, before retreating a bit.

“The market remains on an upward trend,” said Sylvain Navarro, head of equity sales at Invest Securities.
Attacks in Europe “could well have brought on a bit of stress, but for now that hasn’t happened,” he said.

Twelve people were killed and nearly 50 injured when a truck ploughed into a Berlin Christmas market in what German Chancellor Angela Merkel described as a likely “terrorist” attack.

The deadly rampage closely followed the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in Ankara by a Turkish policeman, and a gun attack on a mosque in the Swiss city of Zurich, in which three were injured.

“Sadly, the regularity of such attacks means they no longer surprise the markets in the way they once might have,” Spreadex trader Connor Campbell told AFP.

Europe has been on high alert for most of this year, with terror attacks striking Paris and Brussels, while Germany has been hit by several assaults claimed by the Islamic State group and carried out by asylum seekers.

In US trading, financial and industrial shares led the Dow back to within striking distance of 20,000 points in early trading.

“There’s still a positive flow to the market, it seems a party that investors want to be part of,” said Jack Ablin of BMO Private Bank in Chicago.

“We’ll see what happens after the new year, but right now the path of least resistance is higher.”

Hong Kong closed down 0.5 percent and Shanghai also fell 0.5 percent, with mainland Chinese investors fretting over a weakening yuan and rising bond yields.

However, Tokyo ended 0.5 percent higher after the Bank of Japan held fire on its stimulus but gave an upbeat view of the world’s number-three economy as exports pick up on the back of a weaker yen.

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