Meanwhile, Powell said the U.S. central bank is not raising interest rates anytime soon
U.S. stocks moved lower on Thursday, as the Labor Department report showed that U.S. jobless claims rose by 181,000 to 965,000 last week, the most significant weekly increase since March 2020 and the highest level since mid-August. On the positive side, BlackRock’s financial results came in better than expected, with profits rising 19%. The investment company posted its Q4 profit of $1.5 billion, up from $1.3 billion a year earlier. As such, the S&P 500 fell 0.4%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.22%, and the Nasdaq Composite edged 0.12% lower.
Asian stocks were mixed on Friday after President-elect Joe Biden amid the coronavirus pandemic after Thursday’s market close. Investor optimism was tempered by the fact that Biden may struggle to win support for massive spending, even from some Democrats. Meanwhile, Powell said the U.S. central bank is not raising interest rates anytime soon. As a result, China’s Shanghai Composite index gained just 0.01%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.60%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.27%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished flat.
In Europe, equities opened lower, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 falling 0.3% in early deals. In part, regional stocks are pressures by renewed political turmoil in Italy, where current Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resisted calls to resign, despite being stripped of the coalition’s parliamentary majority. As for the data, the U.K. economy contracted by 2.6% in November versus -5.7% expected. Still, it was the first contraction since the start of the coronavirus crisis last spring. US stocks futures also pointed lower in the early hours.
Meanwhile, the dollar is mostly positive on Friday despite dovish remarks from the Federal Reserve governor. EURUSD came off one-month lows just above the 1.2100 figure but came under renewed selling pressure after failed attempts to overcome the 1.2160 local resistance. If the greenback continues to gain traction in the short term, the pair may derail the 1.2100 handle. Later in the day, US retail sales data could affect dynamics in USD pairs.