Wednesday 31st January 2024: Australian Stocks Hit Record Highs – IC Markets

Global Markets:

  •  Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei up 0.57%, Shanghai Composite down 0.79%, Hang Seng down 1.25% ASX up 1.06%
  • Commodities : Gold at $2051.5 (0.02%), Silver at $23.37 (-0.34%), Brent Oil at $82.25 (0.24%), WTI Oil at $77.57 (-0.27%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 4.023, UK 10-year yield at 3.937, Germany 10-year yield at 2.264

News & Data:

  • (USD) HPI m/m  0.3% vs 0.3% expected
  • (USD) CB Consumer confidence 114.8 vs 114.2 expected
  • (USD) JOLTS Job Openings 9.03M vs 8.73M expected

Markets Update:

On Wednesday, Australian stocks soared to unprecedented levels, with the S&P/ASX 200 surging by 1.06% to close at 7,680.7—a new record high, surpassing the previous peak of 7,632.8 in August 2021. This surge followed a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter inflation rate of 4.1%, the lowest since December 2021.

In the broader Asia-Pacific region, markets displayed a mixed performance as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate decision and assessed economic data. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose by 0.57%, and the Topix gained 0.6%, while South Korea’s Kospi declined by 0.21%, and the Kosdaq experienced a more significant loss of 2.18%.

Samsung Electronics’ announcement of a 34% YoY drop in operating profit and a 73.4% plunge in net profit impacted markets, with Samsung shares falling by 0.67%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped by 1.25%, and China’s CSI 300 decreased by 0.24%, influenced by China’s fourth consecutive month of manufacturing contraction in January.

In the U.S., the previous day ended with mixed results as Wall Street awaited the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision. The S&P 500 slipped by 0.06%, the Nasdaq Composite pulled back by 0.76%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.35%, reaching its seventh record close for the year at 38,467.31. Investors were focused on potential shifts in the policy statement at the conclusion of the meeting, as the Fed funds futures market indicated a 97% probability of unchanged rates.

Upcoming Events: 

  • 1:15 PM GMT – USD ADP Non-Farm Employment Change
  • 1:30 PM GMT – CAD GDP m/m
  • 1:30 PM GMT – USD Employment Cost Index q/q
  • 2:45 PM GMT – USD Chicago PMI
  • 3:30 PM GMT – USD Crude Oil Inventories

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