Asian shares flat as UK vote, ECB meeting loom

American flag hangs on the front of the New York Stock Exchange hours after the market closed in New York. Technology and health care stocks are leading U.S. market indexes slightly higher in early

Also due out: the monthly change in Australian home loans for April, anticipated to fall 1 percent on the heels of March's 0.5 percent monthly decline.

About 6.42 billion shares changed hands in USA exchanges, compared with the 6.6 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions. It has gained almost 7 percent in the past month.British Prime Minister Theresa May looks on course to increase her parliamentary majority in Thursday's election, an opinion poll showed on Tuesday, shortly after another survey suggested the race with the opposition Labour Party was neck and neck.

Against the yen, the dollar bounced back a tad to 109.74 yen JPY= from Wednesday's 1-1/2-month low of 109.115. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 37.46 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,173.69. It was down 0.3 percent in afternoon trading. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last up 0.5 percent at 97.209.

Oil prices rebounded after benchmark Brent crude and US crude prices hit one-month lows of $47.56 and $45.20, respectively.

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Sterling traded near a two-week high on Thursday, supported by expectations that Prime Minister Theresa May's party will win a majority in Britain's general election, while the euro held steady ahead of a European Central Bank policy announcement. Investors view that a clear win would give May more bargaining power in Brexit negotiations, perhaps leading to a deal that's more favourable to British industries and markets.

The triad of big events involving Britain, the US Congress and the European Central Bank had earned the moniker "Super Thursday", but produced no obvious pattern in global stocks, with London retreating, Paris flat, and Frankfurt and NY gaining modestly.

Gold prices were unable to hold above $1,290 in USA trading on Wednesday and dipped there was some downward pressure late in the session as written evidence from former FBI Director Comey did not suggest any major new pressure on President Trump.

UK's benchmark FTSE 100 closed down by 0.1 percent, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closes down by 0.01 percent, Germany's Dax ended up by 0.3 percent, France's CAC finished the day flat. Brent crude, used to price global oils, fell $2.06, or 4.1 percent, to settle at $48.06 per barrel in London.

London attack death toll rises to eight
Thomas' next of kin have been informed of this development", police said in a statement . Thomas's girlfriend was struck and seriously injured in the attack.

Treasury prices remained lower as Comey testified.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,431 as of 11:20 a.m. The release of prepared testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey ahead of his appearance before the Senate has reduced some risk to markets, she said. Benchmark U.S. crude was down $2.12, or 4.4 percent, at $46.07 per barrel in NY. Newfield Exploration shed $1.26, or 4.1 percent, to $29.80.

The 10-year US Treasuries yield stood at 2.180 per cent after having fallen to a seven-month low of 2.129 per cent on Tuesday.

Oil prices fell further below $50 a barrel on concerns that a diplomatic rift between Qatar and several Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, could undermine efforts by OPEC to tighten the market. US gold futures for August delivery shed 1.1 percent to settle at $1,279.50.

Pittsburgh Penguins blow out Nashville Predators for 3-2 series lead
Pittsburgh has two goals on seven shots against Nashville backup Juuse Saros, who replaced Pekka Rinne at the start of the period. The Penguins will try to continue that trend behind the usual brilliance of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin .

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