Friday 22nd March 2024: Asian markets hit highs amidst inflation surge and global optimism | IC Markets

Global Markets:

  •  Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei up 0.15%, Shanghai Composite down 0.85%, Hang Seng down 2.32% ASX down 0.15%
  • Commodities : Gold at $2172.5 (-0.56%), Silver at $24.67 (-1.13%), Brent Oil at $85.23 (-0.62%), WTI Oil at $80.55 (-0.64%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 4.24, UK 10-year yield at 4.024, Germany 10-year yield at 2.418

News & Data:

  • (USD) Federal Funds Rate 5.5% vs 5.5% expected

Markets Update:

Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged to a new all-time high, briefly surpassing 41,000 on Friday, driven by accelerated inflation in February. The country’s headline inflation rate rose to 2.8%, up from 2.2% in the previous month, with core inflation, excluding fresh food prices, also climbing to 2.8%. The Bank of Japan expressed confidence in achieving its 2% price stability target.

Despite the initial surge, the Nikkei retreated slightly to close just below 41,000, ending with a modest gain of 0.18%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged by 2%, while Mainland China’s CSI 300 experienced a decline of 1.05%. The Hang Seng Tech index saw a significant drop of 4%, with Li Auto shares plummeting by 10% after slashing its first-quarter deliveries forecast.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped by 0.15%, while the Taiwan Weighted Index traded close to flatline levels following the central bank’s unexpected decision to raise its policy rate. In the United States, all three major indexes reached new highs, extending the rally from Thursday after the Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain steady rates and uphold its rate cut forecast for 2024.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by 269.24 points, or 0.68%, to close at 39,781.37. The S&P 500 advanced by 0.32% to reach 5,241.53, while the Nasdaq Composite edged up by 0.20% to finish at 16,401.84. Jay Woods, chief global strategist at Freedom Capital Markets, remarked that investors have faith in the Fed’s actions, believing that rate cuts are forthcoming, leading to a positive market sentiment.

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