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Wall Street indexes closed at record levels following the Fed’s decision and Chairman Jerome Powell’s conference. The S&P 500 gained 0.90% to 5225 points, and the Nasdaq 100 rose by 1.15% to 18225 points.

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Thursday News
  • Wall Street indexes closed at record levels following the Fed’s decision and Chairman Jerome Powell’s conference. The S&P 500 gained 0.90% to 5225 points, and the Nasdaq 100 rose by 1.15% to 18225 points.
  • Asian and Pacific indexes also recorded a session of gains. The Korean KOSPI increased by 2.20%, the Australian S&P/ASX 200 is up by 0.40%, and Chinese indexes gained between 1.90-2.10%. The Japanese Nikkei gained over 2.00% and confirmed breaking the 40000 points level.
  • Futures contracts on European indexes indicate a higher opening for the cash session in Europe, with increases ranging between 0.30-0.40%.
  • No major changes are observed in the forex market in the first part of the day, with most currency rates fluctuating within +-0.10%. The USD is slightly weaker, while the Australian dollar (AUD) is notably stronger, gaining up to 0.50% against the rest of the G10 currencies.
  • The Australian dollar (AUD) continued to rise for the second session in a row on Thursday, following a positive Australian labor market report. The data showed a huge drop in unemployment and a significant increase in the number of jobs added.
  • Following the report, the AUD strongly gained, remaining the strongest currency in the first part of the day. Such a strong report is a good argument for the Reserve Bank of Australia to maintain higher interest rates for a longer period.
  • Unemployment in Australia fell to 3.7% in February, compared to expectations of 4.0% and the previous result of 4.1%. Employment change in Australia was 116.5 thousand in February compared to 15.3 thousand in January, against a consensus of 40.0 thousand.
  • Japanese exports increased more than expected in February, contributing to a larger-than-expected decrease in the country’s trade deficit. Demand in China and the United States remains strong, supporting the data.
  • Exports grew by 7.8% year-on-year in February (expectations were 5.3%), albeit slower than the 11.9% growth in January.
  • The trade balance fell to a deficit of 379.4 billion yen, compared to an expected deficit of 810.2 billion yen and significantly lower than the 1.76 trillion yen deficit recorded in January.
  • The Japanese manufacturing sector contracted less than expected in March, indicating some resilience of the economy in the face of the end of nearly a decade of monetary stimulation. The Manufacturing PMI stood at 48.2 in March, compared to expectations of 47.5. This index improved from 47.2 in February.
  • Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki says the government is closely monitoring movements in the currency market, signaling the first steps of verbal intervention.
  • The Vice Governor of PBOC expects about 8% nominal economic growth in China in 2024.
  • In the cryptocurrency market, we observe a brief consolidation after yesterday’s rebound. At the time of publication, Bitcoin is down by about 1.30% and is trading around 67000 USD. Ethereum loses slightly less, down by 0.20%, and remains above the 3500 USD level.

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