The Commerce Department releases its latest GDP report for the first quarter
U.S. stocks rose slightly overnight, with trading being light ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. The S&P 500 ended just under 0.2% higher after wavering between small gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained less than 0.1%, and the Nasdaq added 0.6%. The gains were tempered by declines in health care, technology, and other stocks.
Asian equities were mixed on Thursday, as investors watched for signs of inflation and awaited U.S. economic data expected later in the day. The next key economic update is set for today when the Commerce Department releases its latest GDP report for the first quarter. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.33%, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.05%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.2% while the Shanghai Composite index added 0.35%.
European stocks were nearly flat early on Thursday ahead of key U.S. economic data, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 hovering around the flat-line in early trade. U.S. stock futures were fractionally lower in early premarket trading on Thursday. As for the data, Germany’s GfK survey showed consumer sentiment improved in May to -7.0 from a revised -8.6 in April versus -5.2 expected.
Meanwhile, the dollar gained nearly across the board on Wednesday, backed by subtle taper talk from the Fed. Federal Reserve Governor Randal Quarles opened the door to discussing the reduction of the bank’s bond-buying scheme in one of the upcoming meetings. Early on Thursday, the greenback continued to find support from emerging views the Federal Reserve is slowly edging towards a discussion about tightening monetary policy.
Elsewhere, gold prices topped $1,900 for the first time since the early days of 2021, as investors continue investing money into gold-backed funds. However, the bullion failed to preserve intraday gains as the dollar reversed north to finish below the $1,900 figure that remains in focus for now.