Market Express: Biden takes office as top White House priority
2021-01-29 -- The focus on Friday will be on manufacturing and services PMI data from the US and Europe.
On Thursday, new U.S. President Joe Biden announced 10 executive orders to combat the pandemic, and markets were also on the lookout for a possible new round of stimulus. However, it is unclear how much support the plan will garner.
In the markets, the dollar has come under pressure in recent days on expectations of a stimulus plan. However, gold also fell on Thursday, while crude oil prices were mixed.
[Overnight Market Review]
Global forex markets: The dollar fell for a third straight session on Thursday, with the dollar index.DXY falling 0.40 percent to 90.10 after hitting a nearly one-month high of 90.95 on Monday. Sterling hit a two-and-a-half-year high against the dollar and an eight-month high against the euro, raising hopes that the local economy will rebound relatively quickly as Britain's vaccination program quickly gets under way.
Global gold markets: Gold futures closed slightly lower on Thursday. Gold futures closed Wednesday at their highest level in nearly two weeks after Mr. Biden was sworn in. Gold futures fell less than 0.1 per cent to settle at $1,865.90 an ounce.
International oil markets: Crude oil futures closed mixed on Thursday, with London Brent crude edging up and U.S. WTI crude ending slightly lower. WTI crude futures fell 0.3% to settle at $53.13 a barrel. Brent crude futures in London rose less than 0.1% to settle at $56.10 a barrel.
U.S. stocks: U.S. stocks ended mixed on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting new all-time highs. The Dow was down 0.04% at 31,176.01; The Nasdaq gained 0.55% to 13,530.91. The S&P 500 rose 0.03% to 3,853.07.
EUROPEAN STOCKMARKETS: All European stocks ended the day lower, with Germany's DAX30 down 0.25% at 13,886.75. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.43% to 6,711.42; France's CAC-40 fell 0.67 percent to 5,590.79.
Asian stocks: The Shanghai Composite gained 1.07%, the Shenzhen Composite gained 1.96%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.12%, and Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.64%.
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[Big pound -- market news]
First day on the job! Biden signed several executive orders on combating the pandemic
On his first full day in office, new U.S. President Joe Biden announced 10 executive orders to combat the pandemic, requiring face masks on public transportation and directing agencies to require N95 face masks, swabs and other devices made by U.S. companies under the Defense Production Act. According to a copy released Thursday, Mr. Biden's plan emphasizes increased testing for the novel coronavirus, accelerating the pace of vaccinations and providing more funding and guidance to state and local officials.
New claims for jobless benefits fell slightly last week and remain well above pre-outbreak levels
The number of states filing claims for unemployment benefits fell only slightly last week and remained high, underscoring the strain on the U.S. job market from the outbreak in the early days of Mr. Biden's tenure. The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of people filing for regular weekly unemployment benefits fell by 26,000 to 900,000 in the week ended Jan. 16. The unadjusted figure fell more than 151,000 to 960,668. The number of people continuing to apply for unemployment benefits fell by 127,000 to 5.05 million in the week ended Jan. 9. The median forecast was for 935, 000, compared with 5.3 million for continuing claims.
The European Central Bank kept interest rates steady and was reluctant to use up the full amount of its emergency bond-buying program
The ECB decided to reaffirm its very accommodative monetary policy stance and will continue to buy bonds under its Emergency Anti-Epidemical Bond Purchase Program (PEPP) with a total size of 1.85 trillion euros.
The price of Bitcoin suddenly plunged, dropping more than $4,000 at one point in the day
Late Thursday, the price of bitcoin suddenly plunged. At one point during the day, bitcoin fell more than $4,000 to below $31,000 per coin, down 12.5%, according to market data. The price of bitcoin has been on a rollercoaster lately. On January 8, the price of Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $41,986.37, but failed to break through the $42,000 mark. Subsequently, the price of Bitcoin ushered in several consecutive days of decline, the lowest below $30,100.
[Voice -- Investment Banking Institution Perspective]
ECB President Christine Lagarde: Confirmed the size of the Emergency Emergency Bond Purchase Program (PEPP) at 1.85 trillion euros. The pandemic remains a serious risk to the economy, and the ECB stands ready to act at any time, adjusting all its instruments and maintaining flexibility in its bond purchases if necessary.