Investors inspired by comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve that vowed to continue to support the economy
Wall Street stocks closed mostly higher overnight, finishing well off the lows of the session as lawmakers made more progress toward stimulus measures while the Fed delivered dovish commentary, saying it would continue to buy bonds until further progress has been made toward the maximum employment and price stability goals.
In other news, US retail sales decreased by 1.1% in November following a decrease of 0.1% and missing the estimate of -0.3%. The Markit Composite PMI decreased to 55.7 in December form 58.6 while business inventories increased 0.7% in October following an increase of 0.8%. as such, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.15%, the S&P 500 was 0.18% lower, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.50%.
Asian equities climbed to fresh record highs on Thursday, as monetary support and expectations of fiscal stimulus in the United States put investors in an upbeat mood. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3% to touch an all-time high. Elsewhere, better-than-expected jobs market data in Australia pushed the S&P/ASX 200 higher by 1.16% while South Korea’s Kospi bucked the trend and closed 0.05% lower.
In Europe, stocks opened on a positive note, as investors continued to react positively to comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve that vowed to continue to support the economy. As such, the pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.4% in the early hours, as traders also keep an eye on Washington, looking for clues about the prospects of fiscal aid. Later today, the Bank of England publishes its latest interest rate decision.
Meanwhile, the selling pressure surrounding the dollar has intensified amid a broad-based risk-on rally after the Fed decision. Against this backdrop, EURUSD rose to fresh April 2018 highs and was nearing the 1.2250 region at the time of writing. Despite the overbought conditions, it looks like the common currency is ready to extend the rally as the greenback will likely stay on the defensive amid stimulus hopes.