The ASX had a lacklustre day. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index inched up 0.1%, after US stocks struggled for direction as investors struggled to build on the early 2023 momentum. New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index increased by 0.33%.
Asian markets traded mostly higher on Wednesday following the Bank of Japan’s decision to continue its easy monetary policy and keep the interest rates unchanged. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index inched up 0.47%, buoyed largely by major technology stocks as regulatory headwinds ease. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.47% to stand at 2,368.32, bucking the overall trend.
Major stock indices in Europe opened the Wednesday session trading mostly flat. Germany’s DAX stood flat at the opening bell. In London, the FTSE 100 and in France the CAC 40 hovered near the flatline simultaneously. The Euro Stoxx 50 edged up 0.06% at the beginning of the session.
European markets closed cautiously higher Wednesday as uncertainty persisted on the economic outlook. The DAX was flat at the close. The FTSE 100 fell 0.27%, while the CAC 40 rose 0.12%. The Euro Stoxx 50 was also flat.
U.S. stock futures traded slightly higher early Wednesday morning. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 37 points, or 0.11%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.28% and 0.22%, respectively.
Major stock market indexes in the United States tumbled at the close on Wednesday following a volatile session as traders reacted to a slew of U.S. economic data, including a Commerce Department report showing a steep drop in U.S. retail sales in the month of December. The sell-off on Wall Street also came as the US Federal Reserve revealed its January Beige Book, estimating “little growth in the months ahead.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 1.81% at the close, the Nasdaq 100 lost 1.27%, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.56%.
Oil prices rose on Wednesday. Brent crude futures were up 52 cents, or 0.6%, at $86.44 a barrel at 0151 GMT, following a 1.7% rally in the previous session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures gained 55 cents, or 0.7%, to $80.73 a barrel, having risen 0.4% on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
Gold prices inched lower on Wednesday. Spot gold dipped 0.3% to $1,902.79 per ounce, as of 0256 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,906.00, according to Reuters.
The euro traded 0.30% above the dollar at 8:59 am CET, selling for 1.08255. The pound gained 0.29% against the greenback to go for 1.23155 concurrently.
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