The Chinese economy grew 18.3% growth in the first quarter
Wall Street stocks surged to fresh all-time highs overnight as investors cheered stronger-than-expected economic data out of the United States. Retail sales jumped 9.8% in March from February, exceeding forecasts for 5.5% growth. The job market report showed 576,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the lowest number since the pandemic. Furthermore, big U.S. companies reported even healthier profits for the first quarter than analysts had forecast. Against this backdrop, the S&P 500 gained 1.11%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.90%, and the Nasdaq Composite surged 1.31%.
Asian stocks were mostly lower on Friday, with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 bucking the trend as the index shed 2.36%. In Japan, Nikkei 225 gained 0.14% as well as South Korea’s Kospi, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.81% after the data showed that the Chinese economy grew 18.3% growth in the first quarter, though the reading was slightly lower than expected. Retail sales rose strongly last month.
In Europe, equities have settled around all-time highs amid strong economic data out of the US and China. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3% in early trading. In individual stocks, German carmaker Daimler rose 2.7% as the company posted a better-than-expected surge in quarterly operating profit due to strong demand in China. U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly lower open.
Meanwhile, the dollar failed to capitalize on upbeat economic reports as Treasury yields continued to retreat, hitting three-week lows on Thursday. The greenback looks mixed today, struggling for direction against some rivals. As such, EURUSD briefly dipped to the 1.1950 intermediate support before reversing losses. The pair was last seen trading 1.1978, still struggling to challenge the 1.2000 psychological barrier ahead of US construction activity data due later today.