Wall Street stocks finished higher overnight, helped by a new Federal Reserve program to support the economy amid the coronavirus crisis. The S&P 500 finished up 1.4% and thus saw its best week since 1974, climbing over 12%. The Dow ended up 1.2% and gained 12.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite closed 0.8% higher, having climbed over 10% and marking its best week since 2009.
The Federal Reserve announced a slew of programs, including loans geared towards small and medium-sized businesses, that will total up to $2.3 trillion. The announcement was enough to outweigh another massive jump in weekly jobless claims – more than 6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week versus 5 million expected. In recent days, New York state has reported a decline in its virus-related hospitalization rate, which added to investor optimism.
Asian markets were mixed on Friday after fresh coronavirus stimulus measures in the US boosted Wall Street. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.78% while South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.3%. In China, the Shanghai Composite declined around 1%. Markets in Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore were closed for Good Friday. European and US stocks are also closed today.
In currencies, the dollar is marginally lower against major counterparts after the additional stimulus measures revealed by the Fed. EURUSD has settled above 1.09 but struggles to challenge the 1.0950 area. GBPUSD refrains from challenging the 1.25 handle while USDJPY remains stuck between the key moving averages. Later today, the United States announce fresh CPI data that could affect dollar pairs in the near term.
In other markets, after a fairly positive week, bitcoin has declined decently on Friday as investors proceeded to profit-taking after the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization failed to break above the 50-DMA around $7,300. As a result of a bearish correction, the $7,000 handle turned into resistance again. In the weekly timeframes, bitcoin remains mildly positive but could turn red of the selling pressure persists in the near term.