Finance Finance News Global share markets lift
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Global share markets lift

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Wall Street saw modest gains overnight as investors find few reasons to buy, with indexes already near historic highs and as they headed into Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.2 per cent higher at 16,097.

The S&P 500 added 0.25 per cent to 1,807.

Technology shares extended a recent rally to push the Nasdaq Index to above 4000 for the first time in 13 years.

It closed up 0.67 per cent at 4,045.

There was some positive data for the market to mull over.

Official figures from the Labour Department showed an unexpected fall in the number of new jobless claims last week, they were down by 10,000 to 316,000.

The data adds to speculation that the US Federal Reserve might start to wind down its economic stimulus sooner rather than later.

Slightly offsetting this good news was a drop in business spending intentions.

Figures from the Commerce Department showed non-defence capital goods orders, which is a guide for business spending plans, dropped 1.2 per cent last month.

Although some economists say this was to be expected as the effects of the government shutdown continue to flow through the economy.

In a landmark decision overnight, a US bankruptcy judge has given the all clear for US Airways and American Airlines to merge.

It was the final hurdle the two companies needed to clear for the deal to proceed, it is expected that the merger will be completed by December 9.

The merger will create the world’s largest airline, which will be listed on the Nasdaq exchange as American Airlines Group.

Looking across the Atlantic, and it was a positive night on the markets after German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally did a deal with the centre-left Social Democrats which will see her form government by the end of the year.

The German DAX index rose 0.66 per cent to 9,351.

London’s FTSE added 0.2 per cent to 6,649.

The euro picked up to a four year high against the yen.

Elsewhere on currency markets, the apparent pick-up in US employment pushed the US dollar higher.

That in turn pushed the Aussie down, and it was buying 90.77 US cents at 8.15am AEDT, which is the lowest point since early September.

The US oil price fell again overnight as supplies rose, it finished trade at $US91.98 a barrel.

The spot gold price fell again, it was worth $US1,237.46 an ounce.