Today’s Announcements & News
China stocks led the decline in Asia-Pacific markets on Wednesday, with the mainland Chinese CSI 300 index falling 1.67% to reach a four-year low at 3,369.6. This followed Beijing’s outlined plans to boost domestic demand, prioritize strategic sectors, and address the real estate crisis in a bid to drive economic growth in 2024. While the measures were largely in line with market expectations, BofA Global Research doesn’t anticipate an aggressive policy package involving significant fiscal expansion or rate cuts.
In Japan, the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey indicated improved business confidence among big manufacturers in the fourth quarter, with the index rising to +12 from +10. Additionally, the index for big non-manufacturers’ sentiment increased to +30 from +27, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of improvement. These positive readings signify that optimistic respondents outnumbered pessimistic ones, reflecting an upward trend in sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged over 400 points to achieve a new record on Wednesday, surpassing 37,000 for the first time. This came as the Federal Reserve signaled its intention to implement multiple rate cuts in the following year, aligning with investor expectations for a less-aggressive monetary stance in response to the decelerating inflation trend. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also experienced gains of 1.1% and 1.2%, respectively, with bank and real estate shares leading the upward momentum. The Federal Reserve’s decision to hold the benchmark overnight borrowing rate steady and forecast three rate cuts in 2024 contributed to the positive market response.
Gold prices surged over 1% on Wednesday as the U.S. dollar index and Treasury yields declined following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s indication of an end to its interest rate hike cycle. Spot gold saw a 1.3% increase, reaching $2,004.79 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 0.2% higher at $1,997.30.
Meanwhile, oil prices experienced a more than 1% rise driven by a significantly larger-than-expected weekly withdrawal from U.S. crude storage and the Federal Reserve’s announcement of three anticipated rate cuts next year. Brent crude futures for February increased by $1.02, or 1.39%, settling at $74.26 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for January gained 86 cents, or 1.25%, settling at $69.47 a barrel.
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.