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Global Stocks Limp After NASDAQ Close  03/03 08:14

   Global stock markets were lackluster Tuesday despite a milestone for the 
Nasdaq, as investors looked ahead to the release of China's growth target.

   TOKYO (AP) -- Global stock markets were lackluster Tuesday despite a 
milestone for the Nasdaq, as investors looked ahead to the release of China's 
growth target.

   KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 was flat at 4,915.77, as was Germany's DAX, 
which traded at 11,408.47. Britain's FTSE 100 edged down 0.1 percent to 
6,933.63. U.S. shares were set to drift lower. Dow futures and S&P 500 futures 
were both down 0.1 percent.

   NASDAQ MILESTONE: The Nasdaq composite marked a dot-com milestone Monday, 
closing above 5,000 for the first time since its dot-com era peak nearly 15 
years ago. The Nasdaq, which rose 0.9 percent Monday, was once a symbol of 
investor recklessness and self-delusion, but it has been marked by significant 
changes in its composition. Telecommunications stocks now represent less than 1 
percent of the index, versus 12 percent in 2000. Gone also is the heavy 
reliance on Internet companies with little or no earnings.

   CHINA MEETING: Looking ahead, investors were keeping an eye on China, whose 
ceremonial legislature starts its annual session on Thursday and is expected to 
announce a growth target for 2015. Last year's target was 7.5 percent, which 
China narrowly missed, posting growth of 7.4 percent that was the slowest in 24 
years. There are expectations the target will be lowered to 7 percent this year 
as China manages a multiyear shift in its economy away from industrial led 
growth to more emphasis on consumers and services.

   ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 inched down 0.1 percent to 18,815.16 and Hong 
Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.7 percent at 24,702.78. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 
shed 0.4 percent to 5,933.90. Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,001.38. 
Southeast Asian markets were mixed.

   ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 81 cents to $50.40 a barrel in 
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 17 
cents to close at $49.59 a barrel on Monday.

   CURRENCIES: The dollar was trading at 119.84 yen, down from its previous 
close of 120.14 yen. The euro fell to $1.1159 from $1.1183.


(AG)


 
 
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