Tech wins the day again
The S&P 500 rose on Thursday as stocks in technology added to previous gains. This happened just a day before the release of fresh core PCE inflation data, which will provide additional hints as to whether the Fed’s rate-hike policy will remain intact.
Unemployment claims increased by 7,000 to 198,000 in the week ending March 25th, exceeding expectations of a 5,000 increase. Some economists now anticipate a sharp increase in claims in the coming months. The S&P 500 increased by 0.4%, while the Dow Jones gained 0.3%. Nasdaq increased by 0.6%.
As Treasury yields stabilized following their recent meltdown in response to data indicating the first increase in jobless claims in three weeks, tech equities were among the day’s top gainers. Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft led the advance for large-cap technology stocks with 1.5% gains, while Alphabet lagged with a 0.5% decline.
The US dollar is declining further
The US dollar declined to its lowest level against the euro in a week on Thursday, as Germany’s inflation reports helped boost the common currency and concerns about the banking sector diminished.
Inflation in Germany decreased considerably in March as a result of reduced energy prices, but it still exceeded expectations, putting additional pressure on the ECB to tighten its monetary policy. Separately, data indicated that Spain’s consumer prices rose 3.3% year-over-year in March, the weakest rate since the 12 months ending in August 2021 and less than what analysts had anticipated.
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On Thursday, the euro increased by 0.55% to 1.09035, its greatest level since March 23rd. Following a 5.7% decline in 2022, the euro increased nearly 2% for the year. At 102.16, the dollar index, which compares the dollar to six main counterparts, was down 0.468%.
US dollar index 1H chart, source: tradingview.com
The pound gained 0.58% against the dollar on Thursday, placing it on track for a nearly 3% gain for March, its best monthly result since November, as Britain’s general inflation showed no symptoms of abating.
Oil scores another green day
As a result of favorable US supply-demand data, crude oil prices increased by as much as 2% on Thursday. Despite the EIA reported the largest weekly crude drawdown in four months, WTI and Brent fell 0.3% and 0.5% in the previous session.
With oil reacting a day later than expected, WTI crude closed at $74.34 per barrel, an increase of $1.40, or 1.9%. Brent crude closed at $79.27, 1.3% in the green.
Gold futures are only a hair under the $2000 mark again. The weakening US dollar has made the yellow metal more affordable for other buyers. Gold futures for June closed 0.68% higher at $1997.9. Silver broke through the $24 mark and marked another green day with a 2.47% rise.