Stock markets subdued as investors focus on US tax, jobs

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Global stock markets were subdued Thursday as investors focused on the U.S. tax reform and looked ahead to an upcoming U.S. jobs report.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent to 7,340 while France’s CAC 40 was flat at 5,373. Germany’s DAX gained 0.1 percent to 13,013. Futures augured a soft opening on Wall Street — Dow futures were down 0.1 percent while S&P futures were flat.

TAX: The U.S. Senate voted to begin negotiation with the House to reconcile their two tax bills on Wednesday in a sign that they can iron out differences. Republican leaders are pushing to send a final blended package to President Donald Trump to sign before Christmas.

GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES: Market reaction was muted to Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, ending decades of unwavering U.S. neutrality on the issue. In other global developments, the British and Irish prime ministers spoke, seeking to overcome a logjam in Brexit talks, but there was no sign of an imminent breakthrough.

U.S. JOBS: A report from payroll processor ADP showed private employers added 190,000 jobs last month, slightly better than expected. The report comes two days before a government jobs report, among the last key economic indicators before the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week.

BITCOIN EUPHORIA: The dollar price of the virtual currency rose above…

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