US stock index futures were little changed in early premarket trade
Wall Street equities rebounded on Thursday after closing lower in the previous session, with tech stocks leading the way. Markets remain unstable amid persisting geopolitical tensions and a sharp hawkish repricing of Fed rate hike expectations as the central bank officials have been signaling these days its readiness to hike more aggressively to bring down the elevated inflation. As such, the S&P 500 jumped 1.4%, the Dow Jones added 1%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.9%.
Today in Asia, stocks were mixed as markets continued to struggle for direction after Western governments promised more sanctions against Russia amid the ongoing military campaign in Ukraine. Market participants also weighed risks from tightening Federal Reserve monetary policy as the US central bank keeps signaling more hawkish rate hikes. The Shanghai Composite shed 1.17%, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.14%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.47% and the Kospi in South Korea finished unchanged.
European markets were little changed at the open on Friday, with investors keep tracking negotiations over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine closely. The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered just above the flat-line in early trade. On the data front, the UK retail sales unexpectedly fell by 0.3% in February versus 0.6% expected and 1.9% previous. On an annualized basis, retail sales rose by 7% versus 7.8% expected. US stock index futures were little changed in early premarket trade.
In currencies, the dollar came under some pressure after another failed attempt to overcome the 99.00 barrier. However, the bearish potential looks limited at this stage as markets remain choppy while assessing the latest geopolitical developments and hawkish signals from the Fed. It looks like the greenback would resume the ascent after a short-lived pause amid the persisting uncertainty.