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Wall Street finishes short week with optimism

Stocks in New York saw gains on Wednesday, the last trading session before the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Yields on ten-year Treasuries were down while the US dollar Index slipped. In Asia, stocks were also trading mostly in positive territory on Thursday.

Shane Strowmatt, LGT
Tempo di lettura
5 minuto
Wall Street green light
© Shutterstock

Traders were interpreting mixed macroeconomic data coming out of the US midweek. Weekly initial jobless claims fell by 24,000 to 209,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis last week but remained at high levels. Claims were at a three-month high the week before and are still near year highs for 2023. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell for the fourth month in a row in November to 61.3, down 2.5 points from October. Despite the clear cracks in consumer sentiment, that number was, however, slightly above expectations.

In New York, stock indices made gains before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. More than half of stocks on the New York Stock Exchange finished the session in positive territory as well as nearly two thirds of stocks Nasdaq. The Dow Jones Industrial increased 0.5% and the S&P 500 was up 0.4%. The Nasdaq-100 also gained 0.4%.

In the Asia-Pacific region, stock markets mostly continued with the positive sentiment out of New York. One notable exception was Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 which ended Thursday’s session 0.6% lower. Business activity in the country is contracting more quickly than market participants had expected with the Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) falling to 46.4, down from 47.6 points in October. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.4%, while the Shanghai Composite was trading up 0.6%. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.1%. Markets in Japan are closed due to a holiday.

In Europe the day before, UK Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt announced a series of tax breaks in his Autumn Statement as his government looks to end period of low growth and high inflation. Consumer price inflation in the UK was 4.6% in October, coming down from more than 11% in late 2022. Separately on Wednesday, the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility increased its inflation expectations for the nation to 2.8% at the end of 2024 from its previous projection of 0.9%. It also projected much lower economic growth, at 0.6% and 0.7% for this year and next, down from its previous projections made in March of 1.8% and 2.5%, respectively.

Energy markets were volatile midweek, with oil prices seeing large losses and briefly coming back to settle around 1% lower on Wednesday after the OPEC+ group of oil exporting nations pushed back their 26 November meeting to 30 November without explanation. Analysts expect the group to announce more supply cuts at the upcoming meeting in an effort to combat sliding oil prices and media reports cited disagreement among member nations about cuts as the reason for the postponement. Brent finished the day around USD 82 per barrel on Wednesday, down from near USD 98 in September, and West Texas Intermediate was near USD 77 per barrel midweek. Energy prices have slid as estimates for world economic output have fallen the last couple months.

Corporate news in focus: There is no major corporate news scheduled today.

Economic data in focus: French Composite PMI (09:15 CET), German Composite PMI (09:30), Sweden's Riksbank interest rate decision (09:30), euro area Composite PMI (10:00), British Composite PMI (10:30), Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey interest rate decision (12:00).


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Publisher: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., Glärnischstrasse 36, CH-8027 Zurich
Editor: Alessandro Fezzi
Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.