Market Insider

ECB rate cuts; S&P, Nasdaq hit record highs

The Sydney Opera House Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

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Asia-Pacific stocks rose Thursday on expectations that the European Central Bank will cut rates, with softer U.S. labor market data fueling hopes that the Fed might follow suit, further boosting market sentiment.

The ECB this week appears set to cut borrowing costs for the euro area for the first time since September 2019.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.55%, giving up some gains to close at 38,703.51, while the broad-based Topix rose 0.33% to end at 2,757.23.

Australia, whose exports fell to their lowest level since December 2021, saw the S&P/ASX 200 closing 0.68% higher at 7,821.8.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.23%, paring earlier gains, while mainland China’s CSI 300 ended marginally lower at 3,592.25.

India’s Nifty 50 and Sensex indexes rose 0.64% and 0.75%, respectively, building on Wednesday’s gains as the country’s National Democratic Alliance, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, appeared set to form the next government.

South Korea’s markets were closed for a public holiday.

Overnight in the U.S., Nvidia led major tech stocks higher and slightly weak labor market data gave investors hope the Federal Reserve might move to lower interest rates later this year.

The S&P500 rose 1.18% to close at 5,354.03, a fresh record, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.96% to 17,187.90, also a new record, as Nvidia shares jumped to make it the world’s second most valuable company.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average trailed a bit as stocks outside of technology underperformed, adding just 0.25%.

— CNBC’s Brian Evans and Alex Harring contributed to this report.

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