Afternoon Market Recap:
U.S. equity markets finished Wednesday higher.
Domestic equity markets ended higher, although early gains were diluted upon the midday release of the Federal Open Market Committee's ("FOMC") December meeting minutes. The FOMC members' comments were largely consistent with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's hawkish rhetoric. Additional macroeconomic news painted a mixed picture of economic conditions. The Institute for Supply Management's ("ISM") Manufacturing Index for December showed easing price pressures, while the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey ("JOLTS") from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a still-tight labor market. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said he sees increasing evidence inflation may have peaked and forecasts the Fed target interest rate to also peak at 5.4% before pausing.
Within the S&P 500 Index, all the 11 sectors finished higher...
European markets finished higher. Eurozone markets ended higher, extending the early gains for the year. On the heels of yesterday's cooler-than-expected inflation data from Germany, today's unexpected drop in France's December inflation rate boosted the markets. Falling prices continue to emerge in other macro indicators as German import prices fell again as well as European natural gas prices. However, easing pricing pressures have so far done little to influence the European Central Bank's narrative of continued rate hikes.
Asian markets finished mixed. Hong Kong and South Korea's markets exhibited major gains thanks to supportive announcements out of Beijing and a tax break announced for chipmakers in Seoul. The Chinese government reiterated its pledge to expand fiscal spending as it attempts to charge economic output this year. However, it also warned of retaliatory measures against other global nations that are imposing stricter COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers from China. Elsewhere, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated the central bank's commitment of maintaining stimulus to achieve lower inflation alongside healthy wage growth.
(Narratives written as of local market close.)
WTI crude -4.82%
Brent crude -4.85%
Natural gas +4.04%
Tomorrow, we are on the lookout for eurozone inflation data, as well as job data stateside.
Have a great evening!