Christine Lagarde said the move was not a “tapering” but a “recalibration”
Wall Street stocks finished lower on Thursday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned Congress that she will run out of maneuvering room to prevent the U.S. from breaching the government’s borrowing limit in October unless the debt ceiling is raised. Meanwhile, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 310,000. As such, the S&P 500 fell 0.46%, its fourth straight drop, the Nasdaq pulled back 0.25%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.43%.
Asian shares were higher on Friday despite another decline on Wall Street. Regional stocks bounced back from losses earlier in the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 1.31%. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.25% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 1.91%. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.36% and the Shanghai Composite index advanced 0.28%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.50%.
In Europe, equities opened higher on Friday, with regional stocks tracking recovery in the overall investor sentiment. Market players continue to digest the European Central Bank’s decision to slow down bond buying under its pandemic emergency purchase program. At that, Christine Lagarde said the move was not a “tapering” but a “recalibration”. She also warned that the speed of the recovery continues to depend on the course of the pandemic and progress with vaccinations. The central bank’s move eased concerns about the end of the ultra-loose monetary policy.
In currencies, the dollar has been retreating versus major rivals for the second day in a row on Friday. EURUSD declined in a knee-jerk reaction to the ECB decision before bouncing to finish marginally higher. Today, the pair climbed to the 1.1850 intermediate resistance earlier in the day. The upside potential looks limited despite the dollar corrects lower for the time being.