Asia Morning: US Stocks Mixed as Powell Unveils Policy Review

On Thursday, S&P 500 extended its rally to a sixth straight session, and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6%, while Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.4%.


On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed mixed. S&P 500 extended its rally to a sixth straight session, adding 5 points (+0.2%) to 3,484. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 160 points (+0.6%) to 28,492, while the Nasdaq 100 dropped 45 points (-0.4%) to 11,926.

Dow Jones Industrial Average daily chart:

Source: Gain Capital, TradingView

The Food & Staples Retailing (+2.58%), Banks (+2.5%) and Insurance (+1.7%) sectors gained the most, while the Media (-1.5%), Retailing (-1.13%) and Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment (-1.06%) sectors were the worst performers.

Approximately 59.8% of stocks in the S&P 500 Index were trading above their 200-day moving average and 61.0% were trading above their 20-day moving average.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said they "will seek to achieve inflation that averages 2% over time", meaning that "following periods when inflation has been running below 2%, appropriate monetary policy will likely aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2% for some time".

Regarding U.S. economic data, second quarter annualized GDP was revised to -31.7% on quarter (-32.5% expected and -32.9% previously), while initial jobless claims fell to 1.006 million in the week ended August 22 (1 million expected) from 1.104 million in the prior week.

Later today, U.S. personal spending for July (+1.5% on month expected) and Market News International's Chicago PMI for August (52.6 expected) will be released.

European stocks were broadly lower. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.8%, Germany's DAX 30 lost 0.7%, France's CAC 40 slid 0.6% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 0.8%.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield jumped to a two-month high of 0.7522% from 0.6884% Wednesday.

WTI crude oil futures (October) fell 0.8% to $43.04 a barrel. Hurricane Laura, which caused shutdown of Gulf oil production, had lost its power and was downgraded to a tropical storm. 

Spot gold saw volatile trading, as it marked a day-high near $1,976 before closing at $1,929, down 1.3%.

On the forex front, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index marked a day-low of 92.44 before ending up 0.2% at 92.99, amid mixed reactions to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech.

EUR/USD slipped 0.1% to 1.1820. Later today, the eurozone's Economic Confidence Index for August will be released (85.0 expected).

GBP/USD fell 0.1% to 1.3198. 

USD/JPY bounced 0.6% to 106.57. This morning, official data showed that Japan's Tokyo CPI grew 0.3% on year in August (+0.6% expected).

USD/CAD edged down 0.1% to 1.3125, posting a three-day decline. Canada's second quarter annualized GDP will be released later in the day (-39.4% on quarter expected).

Commodity-linked currencies were broadly higher against the greenback. AUD/USD climbed 0.4% to 0.7260 and NZD/USD rose 0.3% to 0.6640, both up for a third straight session.

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