Mainland Chinese stocks were up by the early morning. The Shanghai Composite was up by 0.14% to 3,426.68. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up about 0.79% to 28,998.75.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average. Nikkei 225 is trading up 0.14 per cent at 29,683.06 on Friday, while the Australian Index S&P / ASX 200 rose 0.07 per cent to 7,063.71. South Korea’s Kospi was up by 0.13% to 3198.08.
The FTSE MIB climbed up by 0.13% to 24,560.50 In the cash markets, the DAX futures Germany was trading 0.29% higher at 15,299.25. CAC 40 futures in France climbed up by 0.15% to 6,243.60, while the FTSE 100 futures in the U.K. rose by 0.42% to 7,013.41, at the time of writing.
In the U.S. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.16% at 33,730.27 the S&P 500 was up 1.11% to 4,170.86 and the Nasdaq 100 was up 1.31% at 14,038.76.
In the Forex market, GBPUSD fell 0.37% at 1.3735. The USDJPY was up 0.11% at 108.86. The USDCHF was up 0.21% at 0.9208. EURUSD was up 0.01% at 1.1968, EUR/GBP was up 0.41% at 0.8713, at the time of writing.
In the commodity market, U.S. Gold futures fell 0.06% at $1,765.45. Elsewhere, Silver futures fell 0.15% to $25.925 per ounce, Platinum rose 0.32% at $1,202.90 per ounce, and Palladium was up 0.38% at $2,750.50.
Brent crude oil was up 0.12% to $67.17 barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (CLc1) rose 0.37% at $63.66.
In the Cryptocurrency Markets, BTCUSD is at $61,275 down 2.54%, Ethereum at 2,400.18 down 2.71%, Litecoin at 283.442 up 3.64%, at the time of writing.
TOP STOCKS TO WATCH OUT TODAY:
Daimler up 2.58% at 77.335, Apple Inc. up 1.87% at $134.50, Facebook up 1.65% at $ 307.82, TESLA Inc. up 0.90% at $738.85, Volkswagen up 1.26% at $240.46., Nvidia up 5.63% at $645.49, Barclays up 3.70% at 188.37.
The U.S. economy still has a long way to go to fully recover from the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which hit minorities and people with lower levels of education hardest, but the outlook is improving, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said on Thursday.
“While the economy is still far from our policy goals of maximum employment and price stability, progress is being made and the economic outlook is brightening,” Mester said during a virtual event with students from Swarthmore College.
On the inflation front, the Fed official said price readings could be high in the near-term as companies struggle with supply chain disruptions and prices rebound from lows reached early in the pandemic, but price growth is likely to slow as time passes and those challenges are resolved.
“I’m not too concerned about inflation moving too high at this point,” Mester said.
The U.S. economy could see strong growth in the second half of the year and labor market conditions should continue to improve as long as there is not a surge in infections of virus strains that are resistant to vaccines, Mester told reporters after the event.
The policymaker expects the U.S. economy to grow by 6% or more this year and the unemployment rate to drop to 4.5% or lower by year-end.
The European Parliament’s committees on relations with Britain on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favour of the post-Brexit trade and cooperation agreement, clearing the path to its final ratification.
They had suspended voting in March in protest over British changes to trading arrangements in Northern Ireland, which Brussels says breach the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
The United Kingdom left the European Union on Jan. 31 after years of tortuous negotiations over their future relations but many details remain unclear, leading to acrimony.
The EU’s foreign affairs and trade committees backed the trade and cooperation agreement struck in December by 108 votes to one, with four abstentions, the parliament said in a statement.
The full chamber must still give its approval and, while it is clear the deal would receive majority backing, it is not certain that lawmakers will vote.
Parliament faces an end-April deadline but has said it wants to see Britain move on implementing the Northern Ireland protocol.
If there is no vote this month and provisional application of the agreement is not extended, then the trade deal would cease to apply, leaving Britain and the European Union to trade on World Trade Organization terms with tariffs and quotas.
Christophe Hansen, a lead lawmaker on post-Brexit ties, said Britain would not agree to another extension, meaning the end of April was a potential cliff edge. But he supported the agreement on Thursday.
“Plunging our companies into renewed uncertainty would be irresponsible and definitely in nobody’s interest,” he said.
Parliamentary leaders compromised this week by allowing the committee vote and could still decide to put the trade deal before the full chamber in its April 26-29 session.
The Brexit impact on Northern Ireland has helped fuel the worst violence in the province for years, but EU-UK rhetoric has dialled down and technical experts from both sides have sought to overcome differences.
British negotiator David Frost will meet European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic on Thursday evening. The Commission said the meeting was designed as a stock-taking exercise and to provide a steer for future talks.
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