Global Stocks Lower on Final Day of 2015

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Global markets were lower on Thursday, the final day of 2015, as investors continued tracking the oil market closely. Oil prices were slightly higher after suffering a 3% loss on Wednesday caused by new data out of the U.S. showing an unexpected increase in oil supplies.

West Texas Intermediate oil futures are set to secure a 31% loss in 2015. Brent oil is down 36% on the year. Concerns over a global supply glut have largely influenced market sentiment for most of the year.

Many Asian markets were closed for the day or shut down early, which limited damage. Shares in European markets were lower in a shortened session.

Trading volumes are expected to remain light on Thursday, and most markets will be closed on Friday. The U.S. will release jobless claim data early Thursday morning as well as a report on Chicago’s manufacturing activity.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index was up 0.15% to 98.45 during morning trading in Europe.

Gold prices were unchanged as trade remained quiet on Thursday. The gold metal has seen an annual decline of 11% this year, marking the third straight year of losses. Timing of the Federal Reserve’s rate hike influenced market sentiment for the majority of the year, putting pressure on prices.

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