Asian stocks hit two-month high, US markets rise ahead of Thanksgiving

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Asian stocks hit two-month high, US markets rise ahead of Thanksgiving
Credit: © Reuters.

Global markets have seen a flurry of activity this week, with Asian stocks reaching a two-month peak and US indices climbing ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Investors are closely monitoring various economic indicators and corporate earnings reports as they speculate on future monetary policy shifts.

On today, MSCI's Asia-Pacific index soared to a two-month high of 509.82, reflecting a robust monthly surge of 7%. Japan's Nikkei index outshone its regional counterparts with an impressive yearly gain of approximately 28%, despite experiencing a slight dip. Meanwhile, the US dollar 's strength waned as market participants pondered over the Federal Reserve's potential pivot from raising interest rates to cutting them in the upcoming year.

Wall Street also witnessed gains earlier in the week, with the Nasdaq benefiting from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT )'s recruitment of Sam Altman, OpenAI's former CEO. This move contributed to a positive sentiment on Monday, lifting major indexes.

As anticipation builds for Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA )'s financial results and the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes, investors remain hopeful yet vigilant. November has seen markets rebound due to diminishing concerns over US inflation.

In other market news, on Wednesday, U.S indices edged higher before the Thanksgiving break. The S&P 500 rose by 0.4%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.5%, and the Nasdaq saw a modest increase, supported by tech giants Microsoft and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ). However, Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO )'s shares fell following its announcement of the VMWare deal.

The energy sector faced headwinds as oil prices dropped to $76.43 per barrel after OPEC postponed discussions on production cuts. Nvidia’s stock declined despite reporting strong earnings, affected by export constraints to China.

Retailers Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN ) and Guess (NYSE: GES ) experienced share price drops after issuing profit warnings. Despite these setbacks, consumer confidence remained buoyant, and lower Thanksgiving meal costs suggested that inflation pressures might be easing.

Currency markets saw the dollar weaken against the yen but strengthen against the euro as traders await October's pivotal inflation data for clues on the economic trajectory.

With the US Thanksgiving holiday today, trading volumes are expected to be lower throughout the week due to a limited data calendar available to investors. Meanwhile, in Asia today, markets closed mixed with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gaining from regulatory support for real estate firms like Country Garden and Sino-Ocean Group Holding. Conversely, Australia’s index experienced a modest decline.

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