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Nasdaq powers to fresh record as bitcoin gyrates

·3-min read
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told a congressional panel that inflationary pressures are based on temporary factors that should abate after the economy reopens

Wall Street stocks enjoyed a second straight day of gains on Tuesday with the Nasdaq powering to a fresh record, while oil prices hit new two-year highs and bitcoin gyrated.

The Dow last week suffered its worst week since October on worries about monetary policy after the Federal Reserve moved up its time frame for lifting interest rates.

But this week's rally shows the market realized it "maybe overreacted a little bit to the hawkishness last week," said analyst Patrick O'Hare.

"You had a strong rebound yesterday and you've seen a continuation of it today."

Many analysts had characterized the Fed's posture last week as more hawkish than expected.

But O'Hare noted that even under the current timeframe, the Fed's targeting of 2023 for the first interest rate hike is still highly accommodative.

At a congressional hearing Tuesday, Fed Chair Jay Powell stressed that most of the factors pushing prices higher are "areas that are directly affected by the reopening" of the economy.

"There's no reason why it should leave a mark on inflation, say, a year or so ahead, because we should be through it, then," Powell said.

All three major US indices advanced, with the Nasdaq leading with a 0.8 percent jump.

Earlier, European bourses finished modestly higher, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index surged more than 3.1 percent following Wall Street's rally on Monday.

Elsewhere, Brent oil futures exceeded $75 a barrel for the first time since April 2019 during the trading session.

"Demand optimism is now well established and a tightening of the (oil) market is very much in the spotlight," Vandana Hari, of Vanda Insights, said.

"If there is a pause in this rally, it will likely come from the supply side."

However, oil prices later pulled back and finished the session lower.

Bitcoin also had a volatile day, falling below $30,000 for the first time in five months in the face of a crackdown by Chinese authorities on cryptocurrency miners.

However, the digital currency was recently trading at above $32,000.

- Key figures at 2050 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 33,945.58 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.5 percent to 4,246.44 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.8 percent at 14,253.27 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,090.01 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX UP 0.2 percent at 15,636.33 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 6,611.50 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 4,123.13 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 3.1 percent at 28,884.13 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.6 percent at 28,309.76 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.8 percent at 3,557.41 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1942 from $1.1918 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3951 from $1.3936

Euro/pound: UP at 85.58 pence from 85.53 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 110.68 yen from 110.31 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.1 percent at $74.81 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.8 percent at $73.06 per barrel