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US stocks were paring some of their earlier gains by midday in New York, as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average weakened after opening about 0.3 per cent higher.

US energy stocks were hit by a fall in crude oil prices, while consumer-focused equities were stronger.

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,292.43, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average – which had reached a new high after the opening bell – was 0.2 per cent higher.

Meanwhile, the fall in oil prices continued with Brent crude down 1.9 per cent to $51.98, and the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate down 1.7 per cent to $54.80.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, was also softer after its morning surge. It was 0.36 per cent higher at 100.27.

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