حفلة 2024

Asia stocks rise, gold drifts after record peak

Asian stocks climbed on Wednesday as investors looked for guidance from Beijing during its week-long annual session of parliament, as the lack of stimulus measures in the past had disappointed some investors, Reuters reported.

Gold and bitcoin prices dipped after reaching record highs.

The investors were cautious ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony later in the day, which will be closely watched for signals on potential interest rate cuts.

Chinese stocks were mixed after Beijing set a five per cent growth target for 2024 at a key parliament meeting.

The blue-chip CSI 300 Index was 0.08 per cent lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng spiked two per cent higher, rebounding from Tuesday’s 2.5 per cent dive.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan initially slipped before reversing course to trade 0.46 per cent higher.

Wall Street’s three major indexes retreated more than one per cent on Tuesday, with weakness in mega cap growth companies such as Apple and the chip sector weighing most on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.09 per cent. European bourses are set for a slightly higher open, with Eurostoxx 50 futures up 0.10 per cent, German DAX futures up 0.14 per cent, and FTSE futures up 0.05 per cent.

Investors in Britain are eagerly awaiting the government’s budget, where Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt will aim to cut taxes without upsetting bond markets.

In the US, recent data showed a slowdown in the services sector and a larger-than-expected drop in new factory orders, with focus now on upcoming payrolls data.

US Treasury yields steadied in Asian trading, currently at 4.147 per cent, after dipping to a one-month low of 4.112 per cent due to weak data.

Traders are closely monitoring U.S. economic data and policymakers’ speeches to gauge the timing of potential rate cuts by the Fed.

The Japanese yen strengthened to 149.93 per dollar, while sterling remained flat at $1.2704 ahead of Britain’s budget announcement. The euro was at $1.0853 ahead of the European Central Bank’s policy decision on Thursday.

Bitcoin was trading around $66,000, having reached a record high of $69,202 in the previous session. Gold fluctuated at $2,127.36 an ounce after hitting an all-time high of $2,141.59 on Tuesday.

US crude rose to $78.38 per barrel, and Brent was at $82.27, up 0.28 per cent on the day.

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