A sudden upwards swing was the first noticeable trend of recent indices. After a steep decline had forced markets into negatives, during afternoon trading, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 41.67 points or 0.21%, off close to 98 points from the day’s high and up close to 63 points from the day’s low. In general, the overall health of the market was positive.
In the foreign exchange market, the rupee slowly rose against the dollar on global risk-on sentiment. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 62.33, compared with its close of 62.365/375 on Thursday.
Asian stocks rose on Friday, as fewer Americans claim jobless income allowance and investors measured company income. Key indices in Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan rose dramatically from 0.77% to 2.17%.
US index futures trading suggested the Dow might improve by 30 points before trading commences on Friday. On Thursday, US stocks climbed as investors revealed an unexpected drop in weekly jobless claims and welcome increases on company earnings from companies like Walt Disney Co.
Interestingly, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to undertake a monetary policy review in March. After the previous FOMC review in January, it announced a reduced monthly bond purchase strategy of $10 billion to $65 billion. Indications suggest FOMC will most likely try to keep reducing bond purchases due to an improved US economy and labor markets.
In the European markets, the European Central Bank opted to keep interest rates at low levels in order relieve concerns that inflation may stay low for too long. The 24-member ECB council met in Frankfurt and chose a refinancing rate at 0.25%. The deposit rate was also kept at zero while the marginal lending rate remains at 0.75%. ECB President Mario Draghi said at a news conference that medium- and long-term inflation expectations remain well-anchored, with no real deflation risk.
The Bank of England kept its benchmark rate at a record-low 0.5%, while its bond-purchase plan stayed unchanged at 375 billion pounds ($611 billion) on Thursday.