Stock markets opened flat to falling on Wall Street Wednesday as housing starts for January came in lower than expected.
The Commerce Department said housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 890,000 in January, down from 973,000 in December and lower than the consensus prediction of 925,000.
In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average added 4.48 points or 0.03 percent, to reach 14,040.15.
The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 2.34 points, or 0.15 percent, to 1,528.60 points.
The Nasdaq shed 6.05 points, or 0.19 percent, to 3,207.54 points.
The 10-year U.S. treasury yielded 2.033 percent.
Against the dollar the euro fell to to $1.3385 from Tuesday's $1.3389. Against the yen, the dollar was higher at 93.68 yen from 93.57 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed at 11,468.28 points, adding 95.94 points or 0.84 percent.
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