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Amazon announces stock split, Wall St gains as oil price tumbles

amazon sign at annual meeting

SPI futures are indicating a 0.4% gain at the start of trade on the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia and the S&P/NZX 50 is up 1.1% in the first hour. Amazon announced a 20-for-1 stock split after market close and said it planned to buy back up to US$10 billion worth of shares. Wall Street gained as oil prices dropped more than 10%. US inflation data due Thursday is expected to nudge 8%.

US and EU stocks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2% higher, up 653 points, at 33,286.25, while the S&P 500 was up 2.6% for its best day since June 2020, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 3.6%.

Europe’s major stock indices were higher, the Euro Stoxx 50 up 7% and the FTSE 100 rising 3.3%. Germany’s DAX was up almost 8%.

Treasuries

The US 10-year yield was at 1.95% and Germany’s 10-year  at 0.21% with a risk-on rally in stocks as investors decided recent share price drops were enough to reflect Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The West continues to work on sanctions for Russian energy and the duration of the war remains unknown.

European Union leaders gather on Thursday for a 2-day summit where a proposal to jointly issue bonds to finance energy and defence spending is expected to be discussed.

Commodities   

Gold pulled back from a 19-month high on improved risk sentiment. The precious metal has gained 9% so far this year, with inflation running hot and investors looking for safe-haven assets. Spot gold was trading around US$1991.30 an ounce, having dropped from around US$2000.

Crude oil tumbled as the U.A.E. and Iraq signalled OPEC might consider raising output. Spot WTI is at US$110 while Brent is at US$113.62 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin jumped higher on optimism that US regulations will change. US President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the federal government to co-ordinate efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. BTC  is trading back above US$40,000, at US$41,850 while Ethereum was at US$2711.


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