The three major U.S. stock indices hit record highs.
The three major U.S. stock indexes closed higher on Thursday and together hit a record closing high. Among them, the Dow rose 0.49%, and the S&P 500 and NAX rose 0.58% and 0.84% respectively.
Financial rescue plan is about to come out. The market ignores weak economic data.
On the data side, the number of first-time jobless claims in the United States last week unexpectedly rose to 885,000, higher than the market expectation of 800,000, the highest level since September.
Another data shows that manufacturing activities in seven states in the Mid-Atlantic region in the United States cooled down in December, and the number of new factory orders and employment growth slowed significantly.
These two figures highlight that the broader business blockade caused by the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is putting the brakes on the recovery of the U.S. economy.
However, the good news about the U.S. fiscal rescue plan has caused the market to ignore these weak economic data. U.S. media reported that the two parties in the United States are drafting a $900 billion financial rescue proposal, which is expected to reach an agreement within two days.
This includes direct distribution of $600 cash checks to individuals, $300 weekly unemployment benefits for the unemployed, and about $17 billion to support the aviation industry, but does not include the most controversial part of both parties, namely, assistance to state and local governments, and corporate exemption protection.
Google encounters its third antitrust lawsuit this year
At the corporate level, the share price of Alphabet, the parent company of the U.S. technology giant Google, fell nearly 1% on Thursday, and 38 states and territories filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google on Thursday, accusing Google of allegedly abusing its monopoly in the search field and trying to dominate the fields of smart voice assistants, televisions and cars. Google responded that if the search mechanism is redesigned, it will harm the interests of enterprises and consumers.
The Bank of England has not moved. The progress of the British-European trade negotiations affects European stock markets.
The three major European stock markets rose and fell on Thursday, with London stock markets falling 0.3%, and Paris and Frankfurt stock markets rose 0.03% and 0.75% respectively. On Thursday, the Bank of England announced that it would keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.1% and maintain the current asset purchase scale.
At the same time, it also said that if the United Kingdom leave the EU without a deal in two weeks, inflation will be allowed to rise. On the other hand, European Commission President von der Leyen said on Thursday that the two sides have made a lot of progress on many issues and negotiations will continue on Friday.
This series of news pushed the pound to 1.36 against the dollar on Thursday, setting a new two-and-a-half-year high. The strengthening of the pound usually suppresses the London stock market, which is dominated by exporters. Other European stock markets were boosted by the good news of the British and European negotiations and generally closed higher.
The weakening of the dollar index boosts crude oil and gold prices
Both crude oil futures climbed to their highest levels since March on Thursday, with WTI light crude oil futures in the United States reporting $48.36 per barrel.
Brent crude oil futures reported at $51.5 per barrel. Markets bet that the United States will soon launch more fiscal stimulus, and the outlook for fuel demand will improve.
In addition, the dollar index remained at a two-and-a-half-year low, which boosted oil and gold prices. Gold prices rose significantly on Thursday, with gold futures for delivery in February 2021 reporting $1890.4 per ounce.