US stocks close higher on positive data
Dollar weakened as wholesale inflation slows
US stock market closed higher on Wednesday supported by strong data. The S&P 500 rose 0.7% to 2810.92. The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.6% to 25702.89. Nasdaq composite index gained 0.7% to 7643.41. The dollar weakening accelerated as wholesale inflation declined to 2.3% over year in February from 2.5% in January, while durable goods orders were stronger than expected. The live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, fell 0.6% to 96.432 but is higher currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to higher openings today.
CAC 40 outperforms European indexes
European stocks advanced on Wednesday. The the GBP/USD joined EUR/USD’s continued climb as British parliament rejected any no-deal Brexit following a no vote to amended Brexit agreement on Teusday. Both pairs are currently lower. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6%. Germany’s DAX 30 gained 0.4% to 11572.41 France’s CAC 40 outperformed gaining 0.7% while UK’s FTSE 100 added 0.1% to 7159.19.
British lawmakers will meet today again and are expected to vote in favor of a proposal that would delay the UK's exit beyond the current March 29 deadline. For an actual UK withdrawal after March 29 deadline the EU's other 27 governments’ unanimously approval of an extension is needed afterward. Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to use her twice-rejected deal in a third vote possibly as soon as next week, arguing the alternatives offer a less clean break with the EU.
Shanghai Composite still the loss leader among Asian indices
Asian stock indices are mixed today after weak China industrial data. Nikkei slipped 0.02% to 21287.02 despite yen’s resumed slide against the dollar. China’s stocks are mixed after report industrial output slowed more than expected in January-February compared with the same period a year ago: the Shanghai Composite Index is down 1.2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.01% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index on the other hand rose 0.3% as the Australian dollar turned lower against the greenback.
Brent futures prices are extending gains today. Prices rose yesterday after data showed US gasoline stockpiles fell by 3.9 million barrels last week with gasoline supplies dropping sharper. The US Energy Information Administration reported yesterday that domestic crude output ticked lower by 100000 to 12 million barrels. May Brent crude rose 1.3% to $67.55 a barrel on Wednesday.
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