U.S. stocks closed lower on Thursday on mixed U.S. economic data and falling oil prices. U.S. consumer price inflation fell 0.7% in January, missing expectations for a 0.6% decrease, after a 0.4% decline in December. U.S. durable goods orders rose 2.8% in January, exceeding expectations for a 1.7% increase, after a 3.7% decline in December. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending February 21 in the U.S. climbed by 31,000 to 313,000 from 282,000 in the previous week, missing expectations for a rise by 3,000. The S&P 500 closed -0.15% with a final quote of 2,110.74 points. The DOW JONES index declined by -0.06% closing at 18,214.42 points.
Chinese stocks were mixed. Yesterday markets rose on speculations on further stimulus measures taken by the PBoC. Premier Li stated that the economy needs more active fiscal policy. In a report the central bank said additional monetary easing is needed. Now all eyes are on the upcoming National People's Congress meeting next week. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is trading -0.32% at 24,823.29 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,310.72 points 0.37%.
The Nikkei continues extending its 15-year high. The Nikkei closed 0.06% with a final quote of 18,797.94 points, the highest closing since April 2000. Markets were supported by upbeat Industrial Production.