While equity markets briefly rose earlier in the day Thursday, they closed lower for the fourth day in a row despite a better than expected initial claims report.

The financial sector was the only sector to gain, while real estate led losses.

European stocks trimmed early losses after the European Central Bank announced a slowdown in asset purchases amid higher than expected inflation. Shares of gaming and education companies based in China continued to slide, leading major Asian indexes lower.

The U.S. Treasury 10-year yield was slightly lower.

Oil seems to have found resistance at $70 and hovered around the $68 mark.

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