It was not an easy day for stocks across Asia. Interestingly, mainland Chinese markets returned to trade after a long Lunar New Year break. Mainland Chinese stocks saw gains on the first day after a holiday. The Shanghai composite added 0.55% to 3,765.36. At the same time, the Shenzhen component dropped 1.22% to about 15,767.44.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined more than 1%, as of its final hour of trading.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225% fell 0.19% to end its trading day at 30,236.09. In the meantime, the Topix index fell 1% to close at 1,941.91.
South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.5% to finish its trading day at 3,086.66.
Interestingly, in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed little changed at 6,885.90.
Based on the information provided by the country’s Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 6.4% in January according to seasonally adjusted estimates released Thursday.
U.S. stocks and various factors
Let’s have a look at the U.S. stocks as well. It is worth noting that, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose in uneasy trading on Wednesday to reach another record close, boosted by a jump in Verizon and Chevron shares.
Importantly, the blue-chip Dow erased a 180-point loss and ended the day 90.27 points higher or 0.3%, to 31,613.02. Also, the S&P 500 fell less than 0.1% to 3,931.33, nevertheless, amid a 1% decline in the technology sector. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.6% to 13,965 as Apple declined 1.8%.
It is worth mentioning that, Dow-member Verizon was among the biggest gainers after Berkshire Hathaway revealed a sizable stake in the company. The shares jumped 5.2% after the latest filling showed Berkshire Hathaway bought more than $8 billion worth of stock in the fourth quarter.
Moreover, shares of Chevron jumped 3% as Berkshire revealed a large stake in the energy company as well.
Interestingly, investors also weighed improving economic data with rising inflation expanses. As a reminder, retail sales surged 5.3% in January. People should keep in mind that the jump in consumer spending could further fuel inflation expectations, which have already pushed bond yields significantly higher recently.
The world’s largest economy is recovering from the pandemic-induced recession amid historical fiscal and monetary stimulus. The U.S. economy has the potential to cope with problems. The new administration should work with lawmakers to boost the economy. Moreover, they should join forces to reach a deal, as without a stimulus package it would be harder to improve the situation.
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