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Wall Street’s rally experienced a significant boost on Wednesday with the Dow Jones soaring 1.4% to top 37,000 points for the first time ever after the Federal Reserve not only maintained the US cash rate, but also signalled it would cut rates three times next year amid inflation easing in the world’s largest economy. The S&P500 jumped 1.37% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rallied 1.38% on Wednesday, leading to the three major indices hitting fresh 52-week highs. The Federal Reserve also lowered its inflation forecast for 2024, with the expectation of inflation to ease to 2.4%, down from the previously expected 2.6.
Over in Europe, markets closed flat on Wednesday as investors in the region awaited the release of the Fed’s latest interest rate decision and any commentary on rate outlook from the world’s largest economy in the last month of 2023. The STOXX600 closed just 0.01% lower as gains for chemicals stocks were offset by a decline among telecoms stocks. Germany’s DAX fell 0.15% on Wednesday, the French CAC shed 0.16%, and, in the UK, the FTSE100 closed the day up 0.08%. UK GDP data out overnight indicated the English economy contracted by 0.3% in October, with the country’s services, production and construction services all shrinking according to new data out of the National Statistics on Wednesday. This follows growth of 0.2% in September.
Locally yesterday, the ASX200 rose 0.31% driven by healthcare stocks lifting 1.11% buoyed by Sigma Healthcare soaring 40% after returning from a trading halt post Chemist Warehouse merger announcement. Neuren Pharmaceuticals was the best performing stock on the ASX200 on Wednesday while Chalice Mining and IDP Education weighed on the key index.
What to watch today: