Wall Street rises, yen hits seven-year low

Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:45pm EST
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By Michael Connor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stock markets slipped on Thursday on signs the Chinese and European economies were cooling, while Japan's yen slid to seven-year lows against the dollar amid expectations of more Japanese stimulus.

Wall Street stocks rose to record highs as U.S. data on regional factory activity and the national housing market offset worries about global demand and underscored divergent expectations for the world's biggest economies.

The Chinese and European data fueled price gains in U.S. government debt.

Oil prices rose for the first time this week.

The MSCI index of world stocks was flat, while a gauge of European stocks lost 0.26 percent.

The China flash HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index showed factory output contracted in the world's second-biggest economy for the first time in six months..

The private sector in Germany grew at its slowest pace in 16 months, and in France a slight pick-up was overshadowed by the fastest drop in new orders in more than a year.

The yen hit a seven-year low against the dollar before recovering and slid to a six-year low against the euro. The euro last traded at $1.2545, off an overnight three-week high of $1.2602. The yen last traded at 118.1 to the dollar.   Continued...

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the German share price index DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange November 19, 2014.     REUTERS/Remote/Stringer