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Asian Markets Navigate Uncertainty Over Fed Rate Cuts

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Asian Markets

Asian investors proceeded cautiously on Thursday following remarks from a Federal Reserve official suggesting a potential delay or reduction in interest rate cuts. Meanwhile, the yen maintained its gains after briefly reaching a 34-year low the previous day.

As a recent market rally begins to lose steam, traders are reassessing the US monetary policy outlook. Above-forecast inflation and economic data have led some to question whether the central bank can adhere to its projection of three rate cuts this year.

Confidence has been further shaken by recent comments from Fed officials. Atlanta president Raphael Bostic reiterated his stance of expecting only one rate cut this year, warning against hasty actions that could disrupt the market. Governor Lisa Cook also urged caution among decision-makers.

The latest remarks came from Fed governor Christopher Waller, who suggested a reduction in the number of rate cuts or delaying them in response to recent data. Waller noted progress in reducing inflation but expressed concern over slowed or stalled progress in recent months.

His comments preceded the release of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, expected to show a slight increase, on Friday. Despite concerns, all three main indexes on Wall Street saw gains, with the S&P 500 reaching another record high.

In Asia, markets were mixed, with Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, and Wellington posting gains while Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, and Jakarta declined. Tokyo saw a decline of over one percent as the yen stabilized after hitting its weakest level since 1990 against the dollar.

A Bank of Japan official’s comments warning of continued accommodative monetary policy contributed to the yen’s slide. Speculation has arisen regarding potential intervention to support the currency, with Vice Finance Minister Masato Kanda expressing readiness to take necessary measures.

Market analysts anticipate heightened anticipation for Bank of Japan intervention, particularly in light of recent yen fluctuations. Concerns persist over potential market disruptions in the absence of intervention before the weekend.

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U.S. Stock Indices in the Green on the Previous Week

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U.S. Stock

Reviewing the U.S. Stock Markets, the Nasdaq Composite, recorded a decent hike of 46 points, reaching a closing value of 18,398 points by the end of the week. Similarly, the S&P 500 index showed a positive trend, gaining 48 point to settle at 5,615 points. Meanwhile, DJIA Index experienced a notable hike, adding 625 points during the week and concluding at 40,000 points after a week of gaining.

In contrast, Russell 3000 Index saw a gain in week performance, with a slight hike of 39 points to reach 3,189 points by the end of the week.

Moving to Russell 2000 Index, demonstrated a notable hike of 122 points, ending the week at 2,148 points.

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European Stock Weekly Review Highlights Positive Trend

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european stock

In the Outgoing week, the European stock market displayed a gaining performance.

Here is the data on the weekly performance of the European Stock Market, The STOXX Europe 600 index, which is considered a leading benchmark for the European market and covers approximately 90 percent of the market capitalization across 17 countries, reported a gain of 7.48 points to close at 524.08.

The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100, one of the most widely followed indices in Europe, also showed a significant hike, adding 49 points or finishing the session at 8,252.

In Germany, the DAX 30 index, added by 273 points to reach 18,748, while France’s CAC 159 increased by 49 points to stop at 7,724 at the end of the trading day.

Italy’s FTSE MIB, which covers the top 40 stocks traded on the Milan Stock Exchange, increased by 593 points to 34,580. However, Spain’s IBEX 35, added by 227 points, to close at 11,023.

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South Asian Stock Reports A Mixed Results in Past Week

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south asian stock

A review of South Asian stock markets shows that India’s Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) index BSE Sensex has added 523 points during the week. At the end of the week, the index stood at 80,519 points. On the other hand, the Nifty-50 index of the country’s National Stock Exchange gained by 179 points last week. At the end of the week, the index stood at 24,502 points.

Pakistan Stock Exchange Index ‘KSE 100’, added points last week. After a week of losing, the index settled at 80,030 points.

On the other hand, The Sri Lankan stock market index adds, and the Colombo Stock Exchange index ‘ASPI’ decreased by 104 points in a week. After a week the index settled at 11,843 points.

Bhutan’s stock market index ‘BSI’ lost 5 points hence the index stood at 1,515 points throughout the whole week. Nepal’s ‘NEPSE’ added 85 points, therefore the index stands at 2,204 points.

Hence Dhaka Stock Exchange: The benchmark index ‘DSEX’ gained by 142.15 points or 2.65 percent, in the outgoing week. At the end of the week, the index stands at 5,497 points.

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