In the currency market
EUR: The euro fell for a second day in a row against the dollar to close at 1.1811, down 0.33%. Technically, initial upside resistance stands at 1.1840, further resistance at 1.1868, key resistance at 1.1884; Initial downside support at 1.1796, further support at 1.1781 and more critical support at 1.1752.
GBP: Sterling fell for a fifth straight day against the dollar to close at 1.3683, down 0.46%. Technically, initial upside resistance stands at 1.3735, further resistance at 1.3787, key resistance at 1.3818; Initial downside support at 1.3651, further support at 1.3621 and more critical support at 1.3568.
JPY: USD/JPY turned positive to close at 108.72, up 0.17%. Technically, initial upside resistance stands at 108.96, further resistance at 109.21, key resistance at 109.47; Initial downside support at 108.45, further support at 108.19 and more critical support at 107.94.
The stock market
On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testified before Congress for a second straight day. The economy is expected to rebound this year as vaccination speeds up, they said, prompting the Dow to climb more than 300 points. However, Ms Yellen reiterated that raising the US corporate tax rate to 28 per cent was justified. The comments extended losses in the Nasdaq to more than 1 percent in mid-session, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average pared its gains to less than 200 points before falling again in late trading. At the close, the Dow was down 3.09 points, or 0.01%, at 32,420.06. The S&P 500, which rose as much as 0.8 percent in the morning, gave up gains late in the day to end down 20.61 points, or 0.53 percent, at 3889.91. The Nasdaq closed down 265.81 points, or 2.01 percent, at 12,961.89 amid another sell-off in technology stocks.
Despite renewed concerns about the prospects for a global economic recovery and a surge in COVID-19 diagnoses, private sector activity in the euro zone unexpectedly rose for the first time in six months, the UK’s preliminary PMI for the services sector hit its highest level since August last year and European stock markets closed higher on Wednesday, with only Germany’s DAX30 index ending lower. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended up 0.08 points, or 0.02 percent, at 423.39. Mining and construction stocks led the way, up 1.2%, while autos fell 1.5%. Germany’s DAX30 index closed down 51.63 points, or 0.35%, at 14,610.39. The FTSE 100 closed up 13.70 points, or 0.20%, at 6,712.89. France’s CAC-40 index (FR: CAC-40) ended up 1.99 points, or 0.03 percent, at 5947.29. The Euro Stoxx 50 index closed up 5.5 points, or 0.14 percent, at 3,832.55. Spain’s IBEX35 index closed up 53.4 points, or 0.64 percent, at 8443.7. In Italy, the FTSE MIB index closed up 94.80 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 24,208.66.
Spot gold settled at $1,734.69 an ounce, up $7.77, or 0.45 percent, from an intraday high of $1,738.48 and a low of $1,723.59.
COMEX gold futures for April delivery ended up 0.5 percent at $1,733.20 an ounce.
Both major crude oil futures ended higher on Wednesday. U.S. WTI crude for May delivery settled up $3.42, or 5.92 percent, at $61.18 a barrel at press time. Brent crude for May delivery ended up $3.62, or 5.95 percent, at $64.41 a barrel. Oil fell $3.80, or 6.17 percent, to $57.76 a barrel. Cloth oil closed down $3.83, or 5.92 percent, at $60.79 a barrel.