Yesterday saw more gains on the US stock markets. The Dow Jones Index (US30) fell by 0.11% by Thursday’s closing, while the S&P 500 (US500) rose by 1.48%. The US100-based NASDAQ Technology Index increased by 3.25%.

After the Meta rise, investors are now purchasing tech equities. Investors have been obliged to spend heavily in technology due to the recent rise in artificial intelligence. The market has also benefited from rekindled optimism that the Federal Reserve may end rate hikes earlier than anticipated.

Following the news that the company would increase production at its Shanghai plant to nearly 20,000 vehicles per week, Tesla (TSLA) saw an additional 3% gain in value. Due to a decline in iPhone revenue, Apple’s (AAPL) quarterly earnings fell short of forecasts. In spite of a challenging macroeconomic environment and significant supply constraints, the iPhone’s revenue decreased by about 8% to $65.78 billion. After the story was made public, Apple’s shares dropped by 3%. Due to lower spending on online advertising, Alphabet (GOOGL) reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that were lower than anticipated. As a result of employee losses, the corporation also stated that its first-quarter earnings will show decreased expenditure. The news caused Alphabet Inc. shares to drop by more than 1%. The outcomes dissatisfied Amazon (AMZN) as well.

The current quarter saw a continuous decline in operating profitability. In order to reduce expenses across all of its operations, the corporation has set its sights on a high rate of inflation and a shaky economy. After the market closed, shares decreased 5%. According to Ford Motor Co. (F), the fourth-quarter profit decreased from the same period last year. The automaker attributed the higher costs and lower volume to production “instability” and issues with the supply chain. After the main session ended, Ford shares dropped more than 6% in response to the report.

Yesterday, most European stock markets were higher. Spain’s IBEX 35 index (ES35) increased by 1.45%, Germany’s DAX (DE30) increased by 2.16%, France’s CAC 40 (FR40) increased by 1.26%, and Britain’s FTSE 100 (UK100) was up by 0.76% as of Thursday’s closing.

As predicted, the ECB increased its interest rate by 0.5% yesterday. In contrast to the ECB, which is about halfway through and intends to begin quantitative easing (QT) in March, the US Fed is nearing the end of its cycle of rate hikes and will soon discuss ending QT. The margin between the euro and the dollar will continue to close, which is advantageous for the euro.

It’s still too early to declare victory over inflation, according to the Bank of England, which announced another “sharp” increase in interest rates on Thursday. From 3.5% to 4%, the bank increased its benchmark rate. Although the bank dismissed claims that it would react “forcefully” to pricing pressures and suggested that future adjustments would be minor, it nonetheless moderated expectations of further rate rises.

The currency rose and US industrial orders declined on Thursday, which increased the price of oil for non-US consumers. This suggests that the economy, particularly in manufacturing, is continuing to slow down, which is bad news for oil. Investors now have less faith in the forecast for oil as a whole. However, economists remain optimistic about a favourable future for the “black gold” because of China’s recovering economy (the world’s largest oil importer). It’s also important to keep in mind that the restriction on Russian oil, which might negatively affect supply worldwide, will go into force on February 5.

Due to the winter of 2022–2023’s unusually warm beginning, heating demand was significantly lower than usual in the United States and Europe, resulting in a larger gas inventory than anticipated. Over the previous two months, natural gas prices have decreased as a result of this. However, the start of cold weather, which meteorologists expect for the second half of February, might drastically alter the scenario.

Yesterday, the Asian markets were unchanged. China’s FTSE China A50 (CHA50) fell by 0.34%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HK50) dropped by 0.52%, India’s NIFTY 50 (IND50) dropped by 0.03%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (AU200) rose by 0.13% on the day. Japan’s Nikkei 225 (JP225) gained 0.20%.

The conflicting economic data that were made public increased worries about China’s quick recovery following the repeal of the zero COVID-19 policy. Although the country’s services industry saw a four-month drop that ended in a dramatic recovery in January, a private poll revealed that small-scale manufacturing companies continue to suffer with an increase in COVID-19 cases and persistent supply chain issues.

Severe flooding in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, has increased inflationary pressures and created a new cost-of-living headache for Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, who is attempting to regain support for his party before the election.

S&P 500 (F) (US500) 4,179.76 +60.55 (+1.47%)

Dow Jones (US30) 34,053.94 −39.02 (−0.11%)

DAX (DE40) 15,509.19 +328.45 (+2.16%)

FTSE 100 (UK100) 7,820.16 +59.05 (+0.76%)

USD Index 101.74 +0.53 (+0.53%)