The US stock indices have once again hit all-time highs. Tensions are growing in the Middle East

<p><strong>By <a href=";utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=analytics_market_overview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">JustMarkets</a></strong></p>
<p>At Monday’s stock market close, the Dow Jones Index (US30) increased by 0.36%, while the S&amp;P 500 Index (US500) gained 0.22% yesterday. The NASDAQ Technology Index (US100) closed positive by 0.32%. All three indices once again set new record highs. Stocks rose on Monday amid optimism about the US economic outlook and expectations of strong quarterly corporate earnings results. In addition, a decline in government bond yields on Monday supported stocks. Companies such as Netflix (NFLX), Tesla (TSLA), and Intel (INTC) will also report this week.</p>
<p>FOMC officials have traditionally kept quiet this week ahead of next week’s Fed meeting. Markets are discounting the odds of a 25 bps rate cut at 3% for the January 30-31 FOMC meeting and 42% for the same 25 bps rate cut at the March 19-20 meeting.</p>
<p>Equity markets in Europe were mostly up on Monday. Germany’s DAX (DE40) rose by 0.77%, France’s CAC 40 (FR40) gained 0.56% yesterday, Spain’s IBEX 35 (ES35) added 1.11%, and the UK’s FTSE 100 (UK100) closed positive by 0.35%.</p>
<p>European equity markets opened higher on Tuesday, likely extending gains from the previous session amid improving risk sentiment. However, investors remained cautious ahead of the European Central Bank’s decision later this week. The ECB is expected to keep interest rates unchanged, but policymakers have disagreed with predictions of an imminent rate cut.</p>
<p>WTI crude oil prices held just below $75 a barrel on Tuesday, near their highest levels in four weeks, as fresh strikes by US and British troops on Houthi targets in Yemen heightened fears of a wider conflict in the region that could disrupt supplies. Meanwhile, the resumption of production from Libya’s largest field and signs of rising output, especially from non-OPEC countries, continued to weigh on the oil market. On the demand side, the IEA revised its forecast for oil demand growth in 2024 to 1.24 million bpd, up 180,000 bpd, citing improved economic growth and lower oil prices in Q4. OPEC also maintained its forecast for oil demand growth of 2.25 million bpd in 2024, with 1.85 million bpd growth expected in 2025.</p>
<p>Asian markets traded mixed on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 (JP225) gained 0.72% yesterday, China’s FTSE China A50 (CHA50) was down by 0.72%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HK50) fell by 2.25% on Monday, and Australia’s ASX 200 (AU200) was positive by 0.51%.</p>
<p>The Bank of Japan (BoJ) unanimously kept its key short-term interest rate unchanged at negative 0.1% and the 10-year bond yield at around 0% at its January meeting, as expected. The Central Bank also kept the upper limit on long-term government bond yields unchanged at 1.0%. Meanwhile, in its quarterly outlook report, the BoJ lowered its CPI target for fiscal 2024 to 2.4% from October’s forecast of 2.8%, reflecting the recent decline in oil prices. For 2025, the BoJ said it expects core inflation at 1.8%, up slightly from previous estimates of 1.7%. On economic growth, policymakers lowered their GDP growth forecast for 2023 to 1.8% from 2.0% in previous projections. For FY 2024, the bank revised its GDP forecast upward to 1.2% from 1.0%, helped by pent-up demand. BoJ Governor Kazuo Ueda recently stated that he sees no need for an immediate change in the BoJ’s dovish stance.</p>
<p>Singapore’s annual inflation rate unexpectedly rose to 3.7% in December 2023 from November’s 25-month low of 3.6%, exceeding market forecasts of 3.5%. Annual core inflation (excluding food and energy prices) rose to 3.3% in December from 3.2% in November, beating forecasts for a  3.1% rise.</p>
<p>The offshore yuan rose to 7.18 per dollar, hitting its highest level in nearly two weeks after China’s cabinet pledged again to stabilize capital markets. China’s premier of the State Council held a cabinet meeting on Monday, where officials said they intend to take stronger and more effective measures to stabilize market confidence. Policymakers are reportedly seeking to channel about 2 trillion yuan, mostly from the offshore accounts of Chinese state-owned enterprises, into a fund to buy mainland stocks.</p>
<p>S&amp;P 500 (US500)<b> 4,850.43</b> +10.62 (+0.22%)</p>
<p>Dow Jones (US30)<b> 38,001.81</b> +138.01 (+0.36%)</p>
<p>DAX (DE40)<b> 16,683.36</b> +128.23 (+0.77%)</p>
<p>FTSE 100 (UK100)<b> 7,487.71</b> +25.78 (+0.35%)</p>
<p>USD Index <b> 103.17</b> −0.16 (−0.15%)</p>
<div>News feed for 2024.01.23:</div>
<li>– Japan BoJ Interest Rate Decision at 04:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Japan BoJ Monetary Policy Statement at 04:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Singapore Consumer Price Index (m/m) at 07:00 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– Japan BoJ Press Conference at 08:30 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– US Richmond Manufacturing Index (m/m) at 17:00 (GMT+2);</li>
<li>– New Zealand Consumer Price Index (q/q) at 23:45 (GMT+2).</li>
<p><strong>By <a href=";utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=analytics_market_overview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">JustMarkets</a></strong></p>
<p><i>This article reflects a personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an investment advice, and/or offer, and/or a persistent request for carrying out financial transactions, and/or a guarantee, and/or a forecast of future events.</i></p>

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