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Nov 14, 2014 8:32 AM

Stocks mostly rise after Europe growth data

The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) World stocks were mostly higher Friday after a report showed economic growth in the eurozone was slightly better than expected, though still sluggish by global standards.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 advanced 0.4 percent to 4,206.52 and Germany's DAX climbed 0.1 percent to 9,251.41. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 6,633.35. U.S. stocks were set to open slightly higher, with Dow futures rising 0.1 percent and S&P 500 futures up marginally.

EUROZONE GROWTH: Figures released Friday showed the 18-country eurozone's economy grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter compared with the previous three months. That was better than expected, but still sluggish and unlikely to bring unemployment down significantly anytime soon.

THE QUOTE: "Overall, the fact that the eurozone managed to expand at all in the third quarter provides a small amount of relief. But growth is still nowhere near strong enough," said Jonathan Loynes of Capital Economics.

ASIA's DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.6 percent higher at 17,490.83 after touching a seven-year high of 17,520 immediately after trading opened. South Korea's Kospi slid 0.8 percent to end at 1,945.14. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.3 percent to 24,087.38 while mainland China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.3 percent to 2,478.32. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2 percent to 5,454.30.

JAPAN ECONOMY: Investors are looking ahead to the Monday release of the latest quarterly GDP data for Asia's second largest economy. Japanese shares have been rising all week in hopes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will call a snap election to seek a stronger mandate for his economic stimulus program and delay a tax hike; weak data may give him an excuse to do so.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 116.51 yen from 116.07 in late trading Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.2438 from $1.2466.

ENERGY: U.S. oil prices dropped to a fresh four-year low. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 18 cents to $74.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $2.97 to close at $74.21 on Thursday.


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