Asian Stock Markets Open Weaker as US Markets Fall
Asian stock markets opened on a weaker note today, reflecting the downward trend seen in the US stock market on Thursday, November 9. The decline followed remarks by Mr. Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve (Fed), signaling a move to raise interest rates to combat inflation.
Mr. Powell, speaking at a panel organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), expressed uncertainty among Fed officials about whether interest rates were high enough to control inflation effectively. This uncertainty indicates that the fight against inflation is not yet complete, and the Fed may continue raising interest rates to meet its target inflation level.
Key Economic Data Releases from the UK and US
Investors are closely monitoring significant economic data releases from the United Kingdom and the United States today. British authorities are set to unveil the preliminary estimate of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2023, along with industrial production figures for September and the trade balance data for the same month.
Additionally, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its preliminary US consumer confidence index for November today, providing insights into consumer sentiment in the United States.
Israeli Military Operations in Gaza Continue
The Israeli army has confirmed that Israel has not agreed to a ceasefire while military operations against Hamas in Gaza persist. However, a brief truce will be allowed for humanitarian purposes. The White House previously disclosed that Israel has agreed to a daily four-hour moratorium on fighting in the northern Gaza Strip, facilitating the movement of Palestinians to the southern Gaza Strip to escape the conflict.
AstraZeneca Reports Strong 3rd Quarter Earnings
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has revealed its profit and revenue figures for the third quarter of 2023, surpassing analysts’ estimates. This impressive performance is attributed to robust sales of cancer medicines. AstraZeneca reported earnings of $1.73 per share, exceeding the estimated $1.69 per share. The company’s revenue also exceeded forecasts, standing at $11.49 billion compared to the projected $11.47 billion.
Japanese Prime Minister to Meet Chinese President at APEC Summit
According to NHK news agency reports, citing sources, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 16. These discussions will take place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, United States. The summit, running from November 15 to 17, will bring together leaders from 21 APEC nations to address regional economic and trade issues.
Bitcoin Prices Experience Volatility Amid SEC Speculation
The cryptocurrency market is closely monitoring the direction of Bitcoin prices, which exhibited significant volatility on the night of November 9. Bitcoin’s price initially surged above $37,000 before subsequently retreating to the $36,000 level.
This price fluctuation is attributed to expectations surrounding the potential approval of a Spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Bloomberg analysts predict that the SEC is likely to approve the first-of-its-kind Spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States later this month.