Here are the top five things you need to know today in financial markets:
1. Global stocks rally after Fed liftoff
Global stock markets rallied on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, confirming optimism over the strength of the U.S. economy.
Asian equities jumped, with Japan’s Nikkei surging 1.6%, while China’s Shanghai Composite rose 1.7%, tracking a strong session of gains on Wall Street overnight.
The upbeat sentiment spilled over to Europe, where Germany’s DAX spiked 2.7%. Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures were up between 0.3% and 0.4%, suggesting a stronger open on Wall Street later in the day.
U.S. stocks soared on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve calmed markets by approving its first interest rate hike in nearly a decade.
2. Fed rate hike boosts U.S. dollar
The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 98.90, after hitting highs of 99.00 overnight, the most since December 3, after the Federal Reserve raised U.S. interest rates for the first time in a almost a decade.
The monetary tightening comes as other world central banks are easing policy and reflects confidence in the world’s largest economy. Higher interest rates also make the dollar more attractive to yield-seeking investors.
The euro fell to more than one-week lows, with EUR/USD down 0.55% to 1.0854, while USD/JPY edged up 0.15% to 122.41.
3. U.S. data due ahead of the bell
The U.S. is to release a weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30AM Eastern Time Thursday, as well as data on the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index for December, as traders look for further indications on the strength of the economy.
Current account data for the third quarter also comes out at 8:30AM, followed by leading indicators for November at 10:00AM.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the Fed will not be mechanical in its approach to normalize monetary policy and that future rate hikes would be gradual and data dependent.
4. Oil falls back towards 7-year lows
Oil prices fell back towards seven-year lows on Thursday, as ongoing jitters over a global supply glut coupled with a broadly stronger U.S. dollar weighed.
U.S. crude was last down 37 cents, or 1.03%, to trade at $35.16 a barrel as of 5:55AM ET, while London-traded Brent lost 20 cents, or 0.53%, to trade at $37.19.
5. China’s yuan weakens for 10th consecutive session
China allowed the yuan to fall for a 10th straight session, the longest losing streak on record, to hit the lowest level since June 2011 against the U.S. dollar (USD/CNY), amid persistent worries over an economic slowdown and following an increase in U.S. interest rates.