The Lunar New Year holiday officially begins Friday
US stocks hit record highs overnight as Biden continued to signal support for a passage of a $1.9-trillion stimulus bill. On the data front, the consumer price index rose 0.3% for January, in line with estimates while core inflation was flat, just missing estimates for a marginal rise. Against this backdrop, long-dated Treasury yields fell on Wednesday. Equities finished mixed after snapping a six-day win streak on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, the S&P 500 edged down 0.04%, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.25%.
Today in Asia, trading was light, with most major markets closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.5% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1%. Markets in Japan, mainland China, South Korea and Taiwan were closed. The Lunar New Year holiday officially begins Friday.
Elsewhere, the dollar held steady after a three-day slide. EURUSD has settled above the 1.2100 handle but failed to accelerate the recovery despite staying above the 20-DMA. Early on Thursday, the pair was trading with a modest bullish bias, still refining from a break above the 1.2150 intermediate resistance ahead of fresh US jobless claims data due later today.
In commodities, oil prices climbed to fresh 13-month highs around $61.70 before closing at the $61 figure on Wednesday. The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories fell by 6.6 million barrels for the week ended February 5. The EIA data also showed gasoline supply climbed by 4.3 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles were down 1.7 million barrels for the week. Following a positive knee-jerk reaction to the report, Brent crude retreated by the end of the session to finish unchanged. Early on Thursday, the futures remained in the $61 area, struggling for direction amid thin trading conditions.