US markets were inspired by fresh data that indicated continued economic growth
US equities extended gains on Thursday, with the S&P 500 seeing another all-time closing high. The broad index added 0.53%, the Dow Jones rose 0.64%, and the Nasdaq Composite finished up just 0.18%, adding 1.3% since the start of the week. Investors were inspired by fresh data that indicated continued economic growth. The US economy grew at a rate of 3.3% in the fourth quarter versus the 2% expectation. Strong report helped offset disappointment by a slump in Tesla stocks. Shares plunged over 12% after the company posted weak fourth-quarter results.
Asian stock markets, however, were mostly lower on Friday as investors expressed a more cautious tone ahead of key US inflation data due later in the day. As the recent recovery in Chinese equities has run out of steam, the Shanghai Composite added just 0.14% during the session. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 continued to retreat from 34-year highs to shed 1.34%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.6% as heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd lost 2.75% after Citibank cut the company’s price target. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi added 0.33% to pare early gains of more than 1%.
In Europe, stocks opened higher on Friday as market participants digest the ECB’s decision on monetary policy. The central bank met market expectations and held interest rates steady at their current levels. On the data front, Germany’s GfK consumer confidence index dropped to -29.7 from -25.4 in January versus the market expectation of -24.5. In individual stocks, LVMH rose 8% amid the increased fourth-quarter sales.
Meanwhile, the US dollar came off from intraday highs to turn unchanged for the day in recent trading as traders adjust their positions ahead of PCE data. The USD index briefly peaked at 103.73 before sliding to the 103.50 zone during the European trading hours. Should the inflation report disappoint, the greenback may turn negative on the daily timeframes. In a wider picture, the dollar stays upbeat, holding in bullish territory for the fourth week in a row. The US currency continues to derive support from the waning expectations for an early rate cut by the Fed.