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Stocks rise on positive jobs number, chip-led tech bets; oil dips, gold up

chip stocks

Asia markets are set to open higher following another tech-led rebound in the US markets overnight. The chip stocks led broader market gains as investors continue to take bets on growth stocks despite the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and economic uncertainty.

The Russian stock exchange, MOEX, partially reopened after a month-long shutdown. The index finished 4% higher after spiking 10% in a wild session, with all the commodity-related stocks up more than 10%.

SPI futures are indicating a 0.5% gain on markets in Australia at the open and the NZX 50 is positive after the first hour of trading.

US and EU stock

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.01%, the S&P 500 rose 1.44%, and Nasdaq advanced 1.93%.

Chip shares jumped as Nvidia’s CEO indicated it would source Intel for its chip production. The company's shares surged nearly 10%, and Intel jumped nearly 7%. The technology mega-caps all joined the rally, with Alphabet and Apple, and Meta Platforms all up more than 2%.

The material sector also outperformed on strong raw material prices, with Freeport up 3.29% and Nucor rising 4.37%.

On the economic front, jobless claims dropped to a decades-low 187,000, adding confidence for the US Federal Reserve to accelerate its monetary policy tightening pace. However, the February durable goods orders slowed significantly, down 2.2% from a month ago.

In Europe, major stocks finished lower as new sanctions on Russia from the G-7 group loom. The Euro Stoxx 50 was down 0.15%, DAX lost 0.07%, and CAC 40 fell 0.39%. The FTSE 100 edged up 0.09%.

Treasuries

The US treasury yields jumped on the positive jobless claims number and strengthened expectations for faster rate hikes. The 10-year US Treasury yield rose 7 points to 2.37%. The 2-year Treasury yield added 2 points to 2.13%.

Germany's 10-year Bond Yield rose to 0.53%, and the France 10-year Bond Yield was lower at 0.98%. The UK 10-year Gilt yield went up to 1.64%.

Commodities

Oil prices fell as EU members are not in agreement to boycott Russia’s oil exports. The US and allies might also release more reserves to cool down the surging prices.

Brent came off from the high at above US$120 the previous day. Both WTI and Brent futures fell more than 3%, to US$111.52 and US$118.10 per barrel respectively.

The precious metals rose as the US announced to block any gold transactions of the Russian Central Bank, which holds an estimated US$132 billion of the base metal. The NYMEX gold futures rose US$21.80, to US$1,964.40 per ounce. Silver advanced 2.49%, to US$25.82 per ounce.

Currencies

USD strengthened further against JPY, up 1%, to 122.37, the highest since December 2015. Commodity currencies, including AUD and CAD, continue to rise against the greenback. NZD, however, lost steam in the past two trading days EUR and the British Pound were both down slightly again the USD.

Cryptocurrencies

The global crypto market rallied with the chip stocks spiking. The total market cap rose 3.45% to US$1.99 trillion in the last 24 hours according to CoinMarketsCap. Bitcoin was up 3.76%, to above US$43,800, and Ethereum was up 4%, to US$3,100. Cardano surged for the third straight day, up 8.9%, to US$1.16 in the past 24 hours.

Ethereum is gaining success to reduce energy consumption by 99% through “proof of stake” development. Energy consumption and pollution are the key criticism of the blockchain industry. The steps to solve the issues are a major advance for digital tokens’ development.

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