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Stocks ended the session higher on Thursday in what was a turbulent trading session as traders bet that the Federal Reserve may be nearing the end of its rate hiking cycle.
In addition, The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the week ending March 18 decreased by 1,000, beating estimates. This report is seen as a positive sign for the labor market, which continues to perform better than expected and poses a potential challenge for the Fed's planned tightening of monetary policy.
Overall, The broader market index was up 0.3 per cent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 per cent, after climbing up as much as 481.38 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained as much as 1.8 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively, before easing from those levels.
Technology stocks outperformed as investors reduced their Fed hike bets and Treasury yields declined, with the SPDR Technology Select Sector gaining 1.3 per cent. Microsoft, Nvidia and Apple all advanced. Tech was the hardest hit part of the market as the Federal Reserve raised rates nine straight times in about a year. The turn lower in rates this month is causing investors to rotate back into tech shares.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew faced a hostile congressional committee threatening to ban the app, amid accusations of it being a tool of surveillance and a "cancer". Chew assured US legislators that the app would not be manipulated by any government, but tensions between the US and China have escalated, and TikTok has become a flashpoint.
In crypto news, The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a warning to investors that firms offering crypto asset securities may not be following US laws and may not provide necessary information for informed decision making.
The SEC has been taking action against the crypto industry, which its chair has called a "Wild West" of misconduct, and this has accelerated since the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November.
Looking at the financial sector, regional stocks fell broadly, with the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF losing 2.7 per cent. To be sure, the fund regained some losses after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the administration is ready to take “additional actions if warranted” to stabilise the US banking system.
To commodity news, Goldman Sachs has raised its 12-month price forecast for gold to $2,050 an ounce, citing it as the best hedge against financial risks, and reiterated its bullish view on commodities, expecting a rise in prices with supply constraints becoming evident later this year.
Overall, overnight, almost all S&P500 sectors closed lower. Communication Services and Technology were able to finish higher, each closing up by more than 1.5 per cent.
The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.6 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar at 7:20 AM is buying 66.80 US cents..
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 1.3 per cent fall.
Gold gained 2.58 per cent. Silver added 1.99 per cent. Copper rose 1.27 per cent and oil dropped 2.28 per cent.
Figures around the globe
Across the Atlantic, European markets closed lower. London’s FTSE fell 0.9 per cent, Frankfurt shed 0.04 per cent while Paris closed 0.1 per cent higher.
In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2.3 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.6 per cent higher.
Yesterday, the Australian sharemarket closed 0.7 per cent lower at 6969.
Eildon Capital Group (ASX:EDC) is paying 1.5 cents unfranked
Lgi (ASX:LGI) is paying 1.113 cents fully franked
AGL Energy (ASX:AGL)
Auswide Bank (ASX:ABA)
Globe International (ASX:GLB)
Helia Group (ASX:HLI)
McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS)
Michael Hill International (ASX:MHJ)
Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL)
Origin Energy (ASX:ORG)
Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS)
Pro Medicus (ASX:PME)
PWR Holdings (ASX:PWH)
Resimac Group (ASX:RMC)
Sky Network Television (ASX:SKT)
Viva Energy Group (ASX:VEA)
Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.
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Source: Finance News Network