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Wall Street edges up despite slower first-quarter US growth

Washington Major US stock indices were higher Friday after the government's initial first-quarter estimate put economic growth at an annualized rate of 2.2 per cent.

The first of three estimates for January-March economic activity put the expansion to start 2012 at a slower rate than the 3 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The first-quarter fell short of Wall Street analysts’ expectations, which averaged 2.5 per cent, but was better than last year’s 12-month growth rate of 1.7 per cent.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 23.69 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 13,228.31. The broader-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 3.38 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 1,403.36. For the week, the S&P was up 1.8 per cent.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 18.59 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 3,069.2.

The US currency slipped against the euro to 75.44 euro cents from 75.75 euro cents on Thursday. The dollar dropped against the Japanese currency to 80.27 yen from 81.12 yen.//DPA




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