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Stocks and Bonds: World

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Wall Street was lower in choppy trading late Thursday morning after two straight days of gains, pulled lower by Apple and healthcare stocks. The S&P healthcare index dropped 1.04 percent as shares of Merck and Johnson & Johnson booked losses. Apple fell 1.23 percent after Barclays cut its price target. The stock was the biggest drag on Wall Street.

Wall Street ended higher on Wednesday after an Opec agreement to limit crude output fuelled a rally in oil and more than offset nervousness about a tight race for the US presidency. The energy index had its best day since January, climbing 4.34 percent after Opec sources said the group reached a deal to cut its oil production for the first time since 2008. Oil prices rallied as much as 6 percent.
Energy firms soared in Tokyo Thursday, leading a Japanese stock market rally as oil prices were boosted by a surprise Opec deal to cut crude production. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, meeting in Algiers, said it had reached an agreement to reduce oil output by 750,000 barrels a day, sending the commodity surging more than five percent.
Britain's top share index approached a 1-1/2 year high on Thursday, boosted by heavyweight oil companies after a decision by Opec to curb output for the first time since 2008. Outsourcing group Capita, however, missed out on the broader market rally, slumping 26.7 percent after issuing a profit warning. The bluechip FTSE 100 index closed up 1 percent at 6,919.42 points, within touching distance of its 2016 peak of 6,955 points which was its highest level since April 2015.
European shares ended flat on Thursday as losses among drugmakers offset energy share gains following an Opec deal to cut output, while Commerzbank slid after the German lender froze dividend payments. The European oil and gas index soared 4.3 percent, making its best day in seven months. Tullow Oil jumped 9.8 percent, while heavyweights Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Eni were up 4.2-6.6 percent.
Indian shares posted their biggest declines since the Brexit vote in June, after India said it had conducted "surgical strikes" on Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. The broader NSE index ended down 1.76 percent to 8,591.25, posting its biggest daily percentage fall since June 24, the day after the Brexit vote. Early in the day, the index dropped as much as 2.1 percent to its lowest intraday level since August 29. The benchmark BSE index closed down 1.64 percent at 27,827.53.
Sri Lankan stocks on Thursday posted a third straight session of gains to end at a near one-month closing high, led by gains in financial stocks, a day after yields in T-bills dropped. The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended up 0.25 percent, or 15.98 points, at 6,528.30, its highest close since September 2. The central bank's widely expected decision on Wednesday to hold the rates steady suggested that policy makers were keen to support a slowing economy even as they kept a tight leash on rampant credit growth.