European Markets Down as Gold, Oil Maintain Solid Gains

European markets were in a slump Thursday as investors pulled back from their recent buying spree.   
The London-based FTSE index was 0.6% lower at midday. The CAC-40 in Paris was down 0.2%, while Frankfurt’s DAX index was 0.3% higher.   
Asian markets finished mostly lower earlier in the day. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index dropped 0.1%, while both the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong and the KOSPI in South Korea plunged 1.5%. Mumbai’s Sensex fell 0.7%.  
Shanghai’s Composite index gained 0.5% in its first trading session after a long Lunar New Year holiday, and Taiwan’s TSEC closed up 0.3%.  
Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX index finished nearly three-quarters of one point higher (+0.01%).
In commodities trading, gold was selling at $1,782.00 per ounce, up 0.5%. U.S. crude oil was selling at $61.47 per barrel, up 0.5. Brent crude was also 0.5% higher, selling at $64.67 per barrel.
All three major U.S. indices were trending downward in futures trading ahead of Thursday’s opening bell on Wall Street.

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