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19/10/
2023

Today’s Announcements & News

Asia

In Asia, markets displayed a mix of performances during choppy afternoon trading on Wednesday following robust economic data from China.

China reported a stronger-than-expected growth of 4.9% in the July to September quarter compared to a year earlier, exceeding economists’ predictions of 4.4%, as per a Reuters poll. The nation also revealed better-than-expected retail sales data for September and a drop in its urban unemployment rate to a nearly two-year low last month.

However, market outcomes were varied: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, after earlier gains, fell by 0.15% in its final hour of trade, while China’s benchmark CSI 300 index dropped 0.79% to its lowest level in almost a year at 3,610.58.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.3% higher at 7,077.60, with anticipation building for unemployment figures due on Thursday, which are closely watched by the Reserve Bank of Australia for setting monetary policy.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 remained almost flat, ending at 32,042.25, while the Topix gained 0.14%, building on Tuesday’s rise and finishing at 2,295.34.

South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.1% higher at 2,462.6, while the Kosdaq experienced a 1.4% dip, ending at 808.89.

In Taiwan, the Taiex dropped about 1.21%, impacted by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp’s 2% fall after the U.S. introduced new export restrictions on artificial intelligence chips to China.

US

Stocks experienced a decline on Wednesday as earnings season ramped up, and Treasury yields reached multi-year highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 332.57 points, or 0.98%, closing at 33,665.08. The S&P 500 also slid 1.34% to 4,314.60, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.62% to 13,314.30. During the session, none of the three major indexes saw positive territory.

On Wednesday, the 10-year Treasury yield rose, surpassing 4.9% for the first time since 2007. Simultaneously, the average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit 8%, marking its highest level since 2000.

Markets are closely monitoring the trajectory of interest rates, with a particular focus on the potential impact of rates reaching 5%, explained Jamie Cox, the managing partner at Harris Financial.

J.B. Hunt’s shares plummeted by 8.9% due to earnings that fell short of expectations, and United Airlines saw a 9.7% decline following less optimistic guidance. Morgan Stanley had a rough day, falling by 6.8%, its worst performance since 2020, as underwhelming results from the bank’s wealth management division overshadowed favorable earnings.

On a more positive note, Procter & Gamble’s shares rose by 2.6% after exceeding analyst expectations for the quarter. Investors were looking ahead to earnings reports from Netflix and Tesla, both expected to be released after the market’s close on Wednesday.

As of now, just over 10% of companies in the S&P 500 have reported results, with roughly 78% surpassing analyst expectations, according to FactSet.

Commodity

Oil prices surged approximately 2%, reaching a two-week high on Wednesday, driven by a larger-than-expected U.S. storage drawdown and concerns about global supplies following Iran’s call for an oil embargo on Israel due to the conflict in Gaza.

Brent futures gained $1.60, equivalent to 1.8%, and settled at $91.50 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude climbed by $1.66, or 1.9%, and settled at $88.32. At their peak during the session, both benchmark oil prices surged by over $3 per barrel.

On the other hand, gold reached a more than two-month high on Wednesday, as escalating tensions in the Middle East prompted investors to seek the safe-haven appeal of the precious metal.

Spot gold advanced by 1% and reached $1,950.67 per ounce, marking its highest level since August 1. Meanwhile, U.S. gold futures ended 1.7% higher at $1,968.3.

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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