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Asia-Pacific markets experienced a decline as Wall Street’s market rally paused and the broad market index remained close to its highest levels since August 2022. Investors in the region were also evaluating recently released economic data.

In Australia, stocks dropped by 0.26%, marking their third consecutive day of losses. The benchmark index, ending at 7,099.7, was influenced by the country’s trade surplus, which fell more than expected to 11.16 billion Australian dollars ($7.44 billion) in April.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan extended its slide from Wednesday in a volatile session, falling by 0.85% to close at 31,641.27. Similarly, the Topix index was down by 0.67% to end at 2,191.5.

Japan’s annualized GDP for the first quarter was revised to 2.7%, surpassing the 1.9% expectation of economists polled by Reuters and the 1.6% initially reported.

South Korea’s Kospi index slightly declined by 0.18% to finish at 2,610.85, breaking a three-day winning streak. Additionally, the Kosdaq index slipped by 0.52% to end at 876.13.

United States

On Thursday night, U.S. stock futures showed little change following the S&P 500’s highest close of the year.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures declined by 37 points, equivalent to 0.11%. S&P 500 futures dipped by 0.04%, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose by 0.04%.

In extended trading, DocuSign shares surged nearly 5% after the electronic agreements firm exceeded analysts’ expectations for the first quarter in terms of revenue and earnings.

During Thursday’s regular session, stocks continued their recent rally, with the S&P 500 reaching its highest closing level of the year. The index rose by 0.62% to 4,293.93, coming close to the important 4,300 threshold. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 168.59 points, or 0.5%, marking its third consecutive day of gains. The Nasdaq Composite also experienced a rally, gaining 1.02%.

Investors were encouraged by indications that a broader range of stocks, including small-cap equities, were participating in the recent rally. However, some market participants cautioned that these gains may not be sustainable.

Jason Hunter, head of technical strategy at JPMorgan, expressed uncertainty about whether the current rally is a temporary squeeze or something more lasting. He referred to it as a “bifurcation point.”

The S&P 500 is on track to achieve its fourth consecutive positive week for the first time since August 2022, with a nearly 0.3% increase as of Thursday’s close. The Dow is heading for its second consecutive week of gains since April, with a 0.2% rise.

In contrast, the Nasdaq Composite is poised to end a six-week winning streak, showing a slight decline of 0.02%.


After experiencing a decline of over $3 per barrel, oil prices partially recovered on Thursday following a news report that the U.S. and Iran were allegedly nearing a deal on oil exports, which was later dismissed by the White House.

The report had initially caused oil prices to plummet as it suggested that Iran and the U.S. were close to reaching a temporary agreement that would involve sanctions relief in exchange for Iran reducing its uranium enrichment activities.

However, market sentiment reversed as doubts arose regarding the swift lifting of oil sanctions, and the White House refuted the accuracy of the report.

Brent crude settled with a decrease of 1.29% at $75.96 per barrel, having previously dropped by as much as $3. Similarly, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude declined by 1.71% or $1.24, reaching $71.29 per barrel.

Gold prices experienced a 1% increase on Thursday following the release of data indicating a surge in U.S. weekly jobless claims. This development further solidified expectations that the Federal Reserve will pause its cycle of interest rate hikes.

The spot gold price rose by 1.3% to reach $1,965.1 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures saw a gain of 1.1% to reach $1,980.3.

The above analysis is only for the views of market researchers and is for reference only and is not regarded as a specific investment suggestion.


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