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Wall Street closed higher across the key indices on Friday as favourable economic data strengthened investor sentiment in the U.S. economy. The S&P500 rose for a sixth straight session, ending the day up 0.53%, the Dow Jones rose 0.64% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.18% despite Tesla shares slumping over 13% after the EV giant posted disappointing fourth-quarter results and warned of lower vehicle volume growth for the year ahead.
US GDP data out late last week indicated the world’s largest economy grew at a rate of 3.3% in Q4 which was well above economists’ expectations of a 2% growth and provides further support that the U.S. economy remains resilient despite the currently high interest rate environment.
Personal consumption expenditures data out of the US also pointed in the right direction for economy stability against inflation falling in fresh data out last Thursday. The PCI data, a preferred measure of inflation for the fed, showed an increase of 2% for the latest quarter.
Over in Europe, markets closed at a two-year high on Friday as investors welcomed a slew of favourable economic data, the ECB’s latest rate decision and corporate fourth quarter earnings results. The STOXX600 rose 1.1% on Friday led by household goods jumping 5.2%. Germany’s DAX ended Friday’s session up 0.32%, the French CAC added 2.28%, and, in the UK, the FTSE100 rose 1.4%.
Luxury brand retailer LVMH jumped 13% on Friday after posting strong fourth quarter results indicating sales which is a key boost for the luxury market in a time of slowing consumer spend.
The European Central bank also met market expectations late last week by maintaining the ECB interest rate steady at 4% for a third straight time.
Across the Asia markets on Friday, stocks mostly declined as investors piled out of EV stocks in the region amid concerns of slowing demand, while investors also digested inflation data out of Tokyo. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.8% on Friday, China’s CSI ended the day down 0.27%, and Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.34%. Japan’s inflation reading for January came in softer compared to December’s reading at 1.6% growth YoY and below the 1.9% rise economists were expecting.
Locally on Friday, the ASX200 was closed for the Australia day public holiday.
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