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- Risk-on sentiment dominated the first full trading day of 2020 as an interest rate cut in China and the prospect of an imminent signing of the “Phase One” US-China trade deal boosted investors’ spirits.
- US data: Initial unemployment claims came in at 222k vs. 220k eyed. Final December Markit Manufacturing PMI came in at 52.4, down a tick from the initial estimate.
- FX: The yen and US dollar were the strongest major currencies on the day, while the British pound was the big laggard (see my colleague Fiona Cincotta’s report for more)
- Commodities: Oil ticked incrementally higher, while gold tacked on roughly 0.5% today.
- US indices closed roughly 1% higher to close at the highs of the day (and month, and quarter, and year, and decade…)
- Technology stocks (XLK) led the way higher while higher yielding Utilities (XLU) and REITs (XLRE) lagged.
- Stocks on the move:
- Growth-oriented technology stocks like AMD (+7%), Micron Technologies (+3%) and Nvidia (+2%).
- China-based firms in particular were in demand, including Tencent (TCEHY, +4%) and Alibaba (BABA, +4%).
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