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Nasdaq index rises again amid signs growth stocks are recovering

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current Nasdaq index

The Nasdaq index rises again early in Monday’s session as growth stocks try to recover from a sharp sell-off sparked by fears that Fed action will lead to a recession.

The S&P 500 also showed signs of stabilizing after briefly falling below its mid-June closing low of 3.666 on Friday, nearly wiping out the sharp rebound it had achieved over the summer.

The Fed’s announcement that high interest rates could hold out until late 2023 sent the three major U.S. stock indexes down 4-5% last week, with the Dow Jones index near bear market territory on Friday.

Growth was led by sectors that included securities of mega-capitalization companies, including technology S5INFT, communications services S5TELS, and consumer discretionary S5COND.

Shares of Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, amazon.com Inc, and Tesla Inc, rose 0.9 percent to 2.0 percent, supporting the current Nasdaq index.

“We’re just seeing gains driven by a sense of relief after a very tough period for the Nasdaq and growth stocks,” said Jeffrey Schulze of ClearBridge Investments.

“Obviously, the last month has been very tough for growth stocks as investors re-evaluate higher Fed rates and, ultimately, the ultimate rate of this cycle of monetary policy tightening.”

Earlier we reported that Wall Street closed in the negative; the Dow confirmed a bear market.

Forex

Dollar just higher ahead of Fed minutes; euro awaits confidence data

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Dollar just higher ahead of Fed minutes; euro awaits confidence data
© Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar traded marginally higher in early European trade Wednesday, as traders awaited the release of the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting for further clues of the path of U.S. interest rates.

At 04:05 ET (09:05 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% higher at 104.102. 

Fed minutes could determine dollar direction

The dollar has slipped back slightly of late after waning expectations of early interest rate cuts by the Fed had seen the greenback climb to three-month highs.

The currency’s upcoming direction could well be decided by what the from the January Federal Reserve meeting, due for release later Wednesday,  indicate in terms of the outlook for U.S. rates.

“Recall this was seen as a pretty neutral meeting until Fed Chair Jerome Powell used an opportunity in the press conference to say that a March rate cut was unlikely,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

Traders are currently pricing in around 90 basis points worth of easing by the Fed this year, probably starting in June.

Beyond the minutes, a slew of Fed officials are also set to speak this week, including and later on Wednesday. 

Eurozone consumer confidence data due

In Europe, edged higher to 1.0807, ahead of the release of the latest figure for the eurozone.

This is expected to show a small improvement in February from the previous month, although it will likely remain very weak.

“If there is a ray of light for the eurozone economy it may be that wage growth is not falling as quickly as inflation and that there may be a boost from rising real incomes after all,” said ING.

traded marginally lower at 1.2616, after data showed that Britain recorded its highest ever in January as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt prepares his annual budget.

The U.K. recorded a budget surplus of £16.7 billion in January, due to record seasonal tax inflows, although the broader fiscal picture remains tough.

Chinese economic recovery on way?

In Asia, edged lower to 7.1891, with data showing increased consumer spending and travel demand during the Lunar New Year holiday, lifting hopes for a bigger recovery in consumption – which is a key driver of the Chinese economy.

The People’s Bank of China also cut its five-year by a bigger-than-expected margin on Tuesday, pointing to more support for the Chinese economy. 

rose 0.1% to 150.14, with the pair remaining above the widely-watched 150 level after data showed a bigger-than-expected increase in Japanese in January, while contracted more than expected. 

Breaks above 150 have attracted government intervention in the past, with officials also offering verbal warnings on any such moves last week.

 

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Asia FX retakes some ground as dollar retreats before more Fed cues

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Asia FX retakes some ground as dollar retreats before more Fed cues
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Investing.com– Most Asian currencies rose on Wednesday, seeing some relief as the dollar retreated in anticipation of more cues from the Federal Reserve on the path of interest rates. 

Regional units were still nursing steep losses in recent sessions as waning expectations of early interest rate cuts by the Fed saw the dollar race to three-month highs.

But the greenback retreated significantly from recent highs this week, offering some relief to Asian markets.

Dollar falls with Fed minutes, speakers in sight

The and both fell about 0.1% each in Asian trade, with investors collecting some profits in the greenback before a barrage of Fed cues this week.

The are due later on Wednesday, after the bank kept rates steady and largely downplayed expectations of early interest rate cuts.

Beyond the minutes, a slew of Fed officials are also set to speak this week, including   and later on Wednesday. 

Chinese yuan rises on economic recovery hopes

The rose 0.1% on Wednesday, also benefiting from some optimism over a potential economic recovery in Asia’s largest economy. 

Data showing increased consumer spending and travel demand during the Lunar New Year holiday drove up hopes over a bigger recovery in consumption- which is a key driver of the Chinese economy.

The People’s Bank of China also cut its five-year by a bigger-than-expected margin on Tuesday, pointing to more support for the Chinese economy. 

While lower rates bode poorly for the yuan, losses in the currency were stemmed by government intervention in currency markets. Media reports showed several Chinese state-owned banks buying yuan and selling dollars on the open market. 

Other Asian currencies trended higher. The rose 0.1% but remained at the 150 level. Data showed a bigger-than-expected increase in Japanese in January, while contracted more than expected. 

The and both traded sideways.

The rose 0.3%, leading gains across Asia on optimism over China, while stronger-than-expected Australia data for the fourth quarter drove bets that the Reserve Bank will keep interest rates higher for longer.

The was flat after strengthening further away from the 83 level in overnight trade.

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Dollar dips, China boosts global growth hopes

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Dollar dips, China boosts global growth hopes
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Dollar banknote is seen in this illustration taken July 17, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The U.S. dollar weakened on Tuesday after China cut interest rates in a bid to prop up its struggling property market, raising hopes of additional stimulus that would boost global growth.

The yen gained, meanwhile, but stayed below the 150.88 per dollar level reached last Monday, its weakest in 11 weeks, as investors focus on whether renewed weakness in the Japanese currency is likely to prompt intervention by the Bank of Japan and Ministry of Finance.

China cut the five-year loan prime rate (LPR) by 25 basis points, which was the largest since the reference rate was introduced in 2019 and far more than analysts had expected.

“The thinking is if China hits the gas pedal then global growth will pick up. Then you start to see dollar selling and money going into emerging markets on the back of that,” said Adam Button, chief currency analyst at ForexLive in Toronto.

Bloomberg News on Sunday quoted Chinese Premier Li Qiang calling for “pragmatic and forceful” action to increase China’s confidence in the economy.

The Australian dollar, which is seen as a proxy for global growth, rose 0.20% to $0.6550, after earlier reaching $0.6579, the highest since Feb. 2.

In the offshore market, the yuan strengthened as far as 7.1963 per dollar, the strongest since Feb. 7.

Investors are also brushing off higher than expected U.S. consumer and producer price inflation data for January released last week as likely being impacted by seasonal adjustments and not indicating renewed price pressures. That would leave the Federal Reserve on track to begin cutting interest rates in the coming months.

“There’s a lingering feeling that the CPI numbers were more of a seasonal adjustment story than a resurgence in inflation story,” Button said. “If central banks wait until inflation is dead and buried then we might end up in a situation where risk assets struggle and global growth is crippled.”

The Fed on Wednesday will release minutes from its Jan. 30 to 31 meeting, which will be evaluated for any new clues on when the U.S. central bank is likely to begin cutting rates.

The was last down 0.21% at 104.08, and earlier reached 103.79, the lowest since Feb. 2. The euro rose 0.25% to $1.0804 and got as high as $1.0839, the highest since Feb. 2.

The greenback fell 0.05% to 150.04 Japanese yen, after earlier trading at 150.45.

The yen has lost 7% in value in 2024 alone, having weakened past the 150-level against the dollar on Feb. 13. In the past, traders have viewed 150 as a line in the sand for the Bank of Japan and the Ministry of Finance that could trigger intervention, as was the case in late 2022.

This time around, the move has been more gradual and volatility has been modest, which suggests little immediate nervousness from either Japanese authorities or currency traders.

Japanese finance minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Tuesday authorities were “closely watching FX moves with a high sense of urgency”, a phrase he has used previously, and stated the yen exchange rate was set by a number of factors.

Sterling gained after Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Tuesday he was comfortable with investors betting on interest rate cuts this year but pointed to signs that Britain’s economy was picking up after falling into recession in late 2023.

It was last up 0.20% at $1.2618 and earlier rose to $1.2668, the highest since Feb. 13.

The greenback gained 0.24% against the Canadian dollar to $1.3523 loonies.

Data on Tuesday showed that Canada’s annual inflation rate slowed significantly more than expected to 2.9% in January and core price measures also eased, bringing forward bets for an early interest rate cut.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin rose 0.33% to $52,076.

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