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U.S. stocks declined on Thursday after markets rallied a day earlier on FED chair Janet Yellens more dovish comments that a future interest rate hike will follow a lower trajectory and lowered the forecasts for growth and inflation. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's manufacturing index declined to 5.0 in March from 5. 2 in February, missing expectations for a rise to 7.3. That was the lowest reading since February 2014. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending March 14 in the U.S. rose by 1,000 to 291,000 from 290,000 in the previous week - still indicating a solid labour market.
The S&P 500 closed -0.49% with a final quote of 2,089.27 points. The DOW JONES index traded lower -0.65% closing at 17,959.03 points.
Chinese stocks were mixed on Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is trading lower -0.33% at 24,388.61 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,617.45 points +0.98% - up for an eighth consecutive day and setting intraday a new 7-year high at 3,632.34 points. Brokerages and technology shares recorded the biggest gains. The index rallied over 7% this week. Markets were supported by Premier Li Keqiang comments on Sunday to further stimulate the economy if necessary
The Nikkei continued its rally-mode reversing early losses and set a new 15-year high on Friday - the highest closing since April 2000. The index closed +0.43% with a final quote of 19,560.22 points.