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02/01/2024

Today’s Announcements & News

Asia

Asia-Pacific markets fell on the last trading day of 2023, with China stocks being the sole exception as the country’s tech companies continued their advance.

Chinese consumer electronics company Xiaomi on Thursday detailed plans to enter China’s oversaturated electric-vehicle market. Hong Kong shares of the company fell more than 4% by afternoon trading. The company seeks to compete with auto giants Tesla and Porsche with a car model Xiaomi says it spent more than 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) to develop.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.20%, while China’s CSI 300 index closed 0.49% higher at 3,431.11. China and Hong Kong indexes rallied more than 2% each in the previous session but were still set to be the biggest percentage losers for the year among major Asia-Pacific markets.

China’s CSI 300 index is down 11.8% for the year, while the Hang Seng has plunged 14% in 2023. Japan’s Nikkei 225, which ended down 0.22% at 33,464.17, wrapped up the year with gains of over 28%, making it Asia’s top-performing market.

The broader Topix closed 0.19% higher at 2,366.39, having surged over 25% in 2023. South Korea markets were shut on Friday, with the Kospi up 18.7% for the year and the Kosdaq clocking 27.5% in gains.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.31% lower at 7,590.80, cooling off from two straight sessions of gains but was still up 7.84% for the year.

US

Stocks fell slightly on Friday, but the S&P 500 closed out 2023 with a surprising gain of 24% as inflation slowed, the economy remained strong, and the Federal Reserve signaled an end to its rate-hiking campaign.

The S&P 500 rose for nine straight weeks to end the year, marking its best winning streak since 2004. Big Tech stocks lifted the Nasdaq Composite to its best year since 2020 on AI enthusiasm.

The broad index fell 0.28% to settle at 4,769.83, with a 24.2% gain for the year. The S&P 500 ends 2023 just short of a new all-time high. At one point on Friday, it climbed within 9 points, or less than 0.2%, from its record close of 4,796.56 attained in January 2022.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 20.56 points, or 0.05%, to close at 37,689.54 on Friday. It finished the year with a 13.7% gain and notched a new record during 2023. The Nasdaq Composite edged down 0.56% to 15,011.35 for the session but rose 43.4% for its best year since 2020.

Commodity

Gold prices held steady on Friday as they notched their best year since 2020 at levels comfortably above $2,000 an ounce, buoyed by hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve could cut interest rates as early as March.

Spot gold was at $2,062.59 per ounce, unchanged from the previous session. U.S. gold futures settled 0.6% lower at $2,071.80, closing the year 13.45% higher to cinch its first positive year in three.

U.S. crude oil closed out the year more than 10% lower as bearish sentiment has taken over due to worries that the market is oversupplied from record production outside OPEC.

The West Texas Intermediate contract for February shed 12 cents, or 0.17%, to settle at $71.65 a barrel on Friday. The Brent contract for March lost 11 cents, or 0.14%, to settle at $77.04.

The above analysis is only for the views of market researchers and is for reference only and is not regarded as a specific investment suggestion.

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