European shares receded in Thursday's trading, but locked in their fourth consecutive yearly gain. The pan-European index FTSEurofirst lost 0.44% for the day, but headed for about 7.0% yearly gain. Britain's FTSE dipped 0.39% to 6,249, while French and German markets were closed, so were Japanese markets.
Euro gave up ground in year-end trading, falling to a week-low against the dollar at 1.0890, down 0.37% for the day, and nearly 10% for the year. Euro was under heavy pressure in 2015 due to ultra-loose monetary policy from the ECB. The common currency dipped 0.43% against sterling to 0.7347. It traded around a month-low against the yen at 131.06, down half a percent.
On another front, U.S. unemployment claims for last week jumped by 20,000 to 287K, the highest since July, and a worrying sign for the Federal Reserve's efforts to help keep the jobs growth on track after raising interest rates earlier this month. Dollar remained upbeat however, with its index recording a daily gain of 0.27% to 98.56, and a robust yearly gain of about 9.0%. Sterling inched up 0.04% against the American currency to 1.4823. Dollar slipped 0.13% against the yen to 120.36, after three consecutive sessions of modest profits.
Oil remained down for the day, with Brent crude futures sliding 14 cents, or 0.37% to $36.32 a barrel; and set for a hefty yearly loss of about 38%, after gliding down 48% last year. U.S. West Texas Intermediary (WTI) crude futures shed 27 cents, or 0.74% to $36.39 a barrel.
Wall Street opened lower, with S&P 500 losing 10 points, or half a percent to 2,052, and returning therefore to negative territory for the year. NASDAQ gave up 20 points, or 0.43% to 5,044, while Dow Jones dipped 100 points, or 0.58% to 17,502.