Concerns over inflation, developments in Ukraine, and Fed’s aggressive tightening plans continue to cap gains in the markets
Following two straight days of losses, US stock markets bounced on Thursday to finish marginally higher, with health-care companies leading the gains. In individual stocks, HP rallied nearly 15% after Berkshire Hathaway revealed ownership of 121 million HP shares. It was the biggest rally for the company’s stocks in more than two years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.25%, the S&P 500 advanced 0.43%, and the Nasdaq Composite inched up less than 0.1%.
Asian equities have settled mostly in positive territory after a volatile session on Friday. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.36%, South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.17%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.47%, and the Shanghai Composite rose by 0.47%. Still, concerns over inflation, developments in Ukraine, and Fed’s aggressive tightening plans continue to persist, capping gains in the markets.
European stocks opened higher ahead of the weekend, with most indexes adding more than 1% in early deals. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index jumped 1.1% at the open. US stock index futures were little changed in early premarket trade. The European Union has approved new sanctions against Russia, and foreign ministers will discuss further restrictions next week, including a ban on oil imports.
Meanwhile, the USD index keeps advancing north for the seventh session in a row, challenging the 100.00 mark for the first time since May 2020 as safe-haven demand in combination with Fed’s hawkishness continues to support the US currency. Against this backdrop, EURUSD briefly dipped below the 1.0850 region earlier in the day to bounce slightly in recent trading. It looks like the greenback could fail to overcome the mentioned barrier at the first, suggesting some profit-taking could take place ahead of the weekend.
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