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The US markets turned from negative to positive in afternoon trade before closing mixed as investors digested an array of economic data released. US flash PMI data from US business activity across manufacturing and services remained below par, indicating the impact of tightening financial conditions on growth and adding to hopes that the Fed is on track to ease its aggressive rate hike stance soon. The Dow Jones closed 0.4% higher, the S&P500 closed flat and the Nasdaq fell just 0.1%.
Retail company Bed Bath and Beyond jumped over 13% on Tuesday as investors continue piling into the heavily shorted company despite the company warning of a potential bankruptcy.
General Electric rallied over 1% after posting quarterly results that topped expectations amid the company working through a multi-year program to cut debt and simplify its operations.
Over in Europe, markets closed mixed despite PMI data in the region showing services and manufacturing sectors in the eurozone returned to modest growth in December, boosting hopes that the 20-member currency bloc may avoid recession. The stronger-than-expected PMI data reinforced expectations that the European Central Bank will maintain its aggressive stance against inflation at the upcoming meeting on the 2nd February. The PMI data also boosted business confidence which rose the most since the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak despite high inflation and rising borrowing costs. The STOXX600 fell 0.2% driven by losses in healthcare, oil and gas stocks, while Germany’s DAX fell 0.07%, the French CAC rallied 0.26% and the FTSE100 in the UK fell 0.35%.
Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group shares rose more than 5% on Tuesday after the company reported a 2.5% increase in 2022 sales and said it was positive about recovery especially in the Chinese market.
On the commodities front, oil is trading 1.53% lower at US$80.35/barrel, gold is up 0.15% at US$1934/ounce, and iron ore is flat at US$124.5/tonne.
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