Investors stay cautious, continuing to monitor developments in Ukraine
US stock indexes bounced slightly on Wednesday after a major sell-off witnessed in the previous session. The benchmarks, however, failed to hold around intraday highs and finished nearly unchanged. As such, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones added 0.2% each while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell less than 0.1%. In individual stocks, Meta Platforms closed 3.3% lower to rally nearly 20% in after-hours trading after Facebook parent reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
Asian markets were mostly up on Thursday as risk-off tone continued to abate, with US stock index futures advancing north as US Treasury yields are falling. China’s Shanghai Composite was 0.58% higher after the country’s authorities pledged more economic support. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan left its policy unchanged, as expected. The central bank also said it will ease policy further without hesitation if needed. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rallied 1.75%.
In Europe, stocks opened higher, but investors stay cautious, continuing to monitor developments in Ukraine. The pan-European Stoxx 600 advanced 1% in early deals. In individual stocks, Barclays said it had suspended its planned share buyback program despite upbeat quarterly earnings. The bank’s stocks gained 1.28% in early trade.
Meanwhile, the USD index climbed to fresh 2017 highs above 103.00 despite the safe-haven demand has abated. In part, the buck was helped by a weaker yen as the USDJPY pair advanced to twenty-year highs around 130.75, now targeting the 131.00 amid a dovish tone from the Bank of Japan. The dollar index registered fresh long-term tops in the 103.70 area before correcting lower in recent trading amid some profit-taking following another aggressive rally. Should risk sentiment continue to improve in the near term, the greenback may see a deeper retreat amid the overbought conditions.