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Wall Street closed almost flat on Wednesday after mixed U.S. data with the DOW JONES extending yesterday's all-time high. Yesterday FED Chair Janet Yellen testified before the House Financial Services Committee and reiterated that it is unlikely that the Fed will raise its interest rate in "the next couple of FOMC meetings" as the labour market is improving but inflation and wage growth are too low. A rate hike in June is seen less likely. The FED's policy is in contrast to those of its counterparts in Europe, China and Japan as they boost their economies with loose monetary policy.
Today a set of U.S. data including Initial Jobless Claims and CPI will be in the focus.
The DOW JONES index added +0.08% closing at 18,224.57 points, slightly extend its all-time high. The S&P 500 closed -0.08% with a final quote of 2,113.86 points.
Chinese stocks rallied, led by the industrial and financial sector on speculations on further stimulus measures taken by the PBoC. Premier Li stated that the economy needs more active fiscal policy. In a report the central bank said additional monetary easing is needed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is trading +0.40% at 24,877.31 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,298.75 points +2.17%.
Japanese markets resumed hitting fresh 15-year highs as risk appetite returned. The Nikkei closed +1.08% with a final quote of 18,785.79 points, the highest closing since April 2000. Markets were also supported by the fact that the fund managing Japan's national civil service pensions plans to raise its target allocation for domestic stocks from 8 to 25%.
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