China cut interest rates to shore up the economic growth
US stocks fluctuated between losses and gains but ultimately closed at session lows, extending a recent stretch of losses on Wednesday. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite dipped 1.15% to close in the correction territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell nearly 1% each. In individual stocks, Morgan Stanley saw its shares rise 1.8% after the bank’s fourth-quarter profit topped estimates while equities trading revenue jumped 13%.
Asian stock markets were mostly higher on Thursday after China cut interest rates to shore up the economic growth and Japan reported a rise in exports, while Australia’s unemployment rate dropped to the lowest in 14 years. Still, the Shanghai Composite fell nearly 0.1% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 35. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 1.11% after the data showed exports jumped 17.5% from a year earlier, up for the 10th straight month.
In currencies, the USD index bounced off two-month lows in the first half of the week to turn back negative on Wednesday. Today, the prices consolidate recent losses around 95.50, down 0.03% on the day during early morning in Europe. In the short term, the greenback remains bearish despite the recent corrective pullback from the intraday low while the broader bullish trend remains intact. Furthermore, the USD index could resume the ascent ahead of the Fed meeting due next week as traders expect the US central bank to signal a March rate hike.
Meanwhile, the pound bounced back above the 1.3600 figure from one-week lows registered around 1.3570 on Tuesday. The GBPUSD climbed to 1.3650 before retreating while finishing marginally higher on Wednesday and retaining a modest bullish bias today. In part, the bounce was due to a weaker dollar. Also, the cable was underpinned by the latest economic data out of the UK, with the CPIH rising by 4.8%. The cable retains a modest bullish bias on Thursday but stays below the 1.3650 area that represents the immediate resistance at this point.