US equities end with modest gains ahead of Trump-Xi summit, jobs report

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US equities were treading water at the end of trading on Thursday after a busy day in political news, while market watchers await word out of the summit getting underway between the presidents of US and China and count down the hours to the release of Friday’s US jobs report.

Energy stocks led both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and benchmark S&P 500 into the black, with the S&P 500 up 0.19 per cent to close at 2,357, while the Dow Jones was holding flat at 20,662. The Nasdaq outran them both to tack on 0.25 per cent at day’s end to close at 5,878.

The dollar index — measuring the buck against a basket of its peers — ranged from gains to losses of 0.2 per cent during the day. By market’s close it was trading up 0.14 per cent at 100.7. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury was nearly level with its open at 2.33 per cent.

The relatively muted trading day comes after a busy day in Washington, which saw Republican lawmaker Devin Nunes step down from a probe into Moscow’s interference in the US election, Senate Republicans go nuclear on a Supreme Court filibuster and US officials declare that steps are “under way” for the removal of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. And on top of all that, Donald Trump has arrived in Florida to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, and the two are expected to have dinner later this evening.

Tomorrow brings a highly anticipated monthly report on US employment, which could give markets a fresh edge headed into the weekend.

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