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Last update: Sat, 30 Jul 2016 02am

Stocks and Bonds: World

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The S&P 500 index and the Dow edged lower on Thursday as investors fretted about weak economic data and disappointing earnings from Ford. The carmaker reported weak China sales and declared that the US auto industry's long recovery was at an end, triggering a 9.6 percent fall in its shares. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 index.

Wall Street ended lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged but opened the door to a possible rate increase later this year. The Fed had not been expected to move interest rates at its two-day meeting, ended on Wednesday, but investors have been anxious for hints about when an increase might come in light of concerns about fallout from Britain's vote in June to leave the European Union.
Tokyo shares fell Thursday as a Bank of Japan (BoJ) policy meeting kicked off, with markets waiting to see if policymakers unleash a fresh round of stimulus to kick-start sluggish growth. The gathering is the BoJ's first since Britain's shock vote to quit the European Union hammered financial markets and sparked a rally in the safe-haven yen, which is threatening to dent Japan Inc's bottom line. Among the options, the BoJ could expand its mammoth asset buying plan or cut interest rates further into negative territory in a bid to stir lending and stoke the wider economy.
Britain's top share index dipped on Thursday after hitting a one-year high in the previous session, with Lloyds, Smith & Nephew and Royal Dutch Shell falling after poorly received trading updates. The bluechip FTSE 100 index was down 0.4 percent at 6,721.06 points at its close. The mid-cap index also fell 0.1 percent, weighed down by a 24.7 percent slide in lender International Personal Finance, which slumped after reporting a 29 percent fall in adjusted profit before tax.
European shares fell on Thursday with Lloyds leading a weaker financial sector lower and disappointing earning updates from firms including oil major Royal Dutch Shell also weighing. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.9 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index slid 1 percent. Lloyds fell 5.8 percent after the British bank warned of a likely drop in demand caused by Britain's vote last month to quit the European Union, adding that it would accelerate cost-cutting.
India's NSE index rose for the second successive session on Thursday to its highest since April 2015 as sentiments were lifted by positive earnings of companies such as Bharti Airtel. The BSE index closed 0.66 percent up at 28,208.62 points. The broader NSE index ended 0.59 percent higher at 8,666.30 points. Asian Paints ended as the top percentage gainer on the NSE after hitting a record high earlier in the session.
Southeast Asian stocks were largely sluggish on Thursday with investors watching from the sidelines as they awaited monetary easing steps by the Bank of Japan to support the government's larger-than-expected stimulus package. Japan's economy minister called on the central bank to work with the government to boost growth after the Japanese prime minister announced a 28 trillion yen ($267 billion) stimulus package on Wednesday.