Wall Street ended sharply higher on Thursday after a strong quarterly report from Meta Platforms lifted beaten down technology and growth stocks and offset worries about the US economy's contraction in the first quarter. The Facebook parent surged 17.6% after the social network reported a larger-than-expected profit and rebounded from a drop in users. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.85% to 33,916.39 points, S&P 500 climbed 2.47% to end the session at 4,287.50 points. The Nasdaq gained 3.06% to 12,871.53 points.
Shares in Asia-Pacific climbed in Friday morning trade following big gains overnight on Wall Street as the Nasdaq Composite surged 3%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.27% while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia advanced 0.46%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.26% higher.
Frontline indices the Sensex and the Nifty ended over a percent higher each on the last day of April Futures and Options (F&O) series expiry on gains led by a mixed bag of heavyweights such as Reliance Industries, Infosys, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank and Larsen & Toubro. The 30-share pack eventually closed 702 points, or 1.23 percent, higher at 57,521.06. The Nifty50 index closed 207 points, or 1.21 percent, higher at 17,245.05.
At 8:20 am, the SGX Nifty was trading 51 points or 0.32 percent higher at 17,304, indicating a positive opening for the Indian markets.
Oil edged lower on Friday as China's COVID-19 lockdowns weighed on the outlook for crude demand, although supply disruption fears as Western sanctions curb crude and products exports from Russia underpinned prices. Brent crude futures dipped 4 cents to $107.55 a barrel by 0040 GMT after rising 2.1% in the previous session. The front-month June contract expires later on Friday. The more active July contract fell 30 cents to $106.96 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 49 cents, or 0.5%, to $104.87 a barrel after settling 3.3% higher on Thursday.
Foreign institutional investors (FII) net purchased Indian shares worth ₹743.2 crore on Thursday, according to provisional exchange data. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net bought shares worth ₹780.9 crore.
The rupee closed with a tepid gain of 4 paise at 76.49 per dollar on April 28. The rupee is expected to remain lacklustre due to gains in dollar. As reported by Reuters, the US dollar held firm at a 20-year high on April 29 and was poised to score its best monthly gain in a decade, buoyed by bets on rising US interest rates and doubts about growth in Europe and China.
Gold prices edged higher on April 29 as lower US Treasury yields outweighed pressure from an elevated dollar, but bullion was still headed for its biggest monthly drop since September on fears of aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, reported Reuters.
US economic growth fell 1.4 percent annualised in the first quarter of 2022 as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and tapering of government spending hit consumers and business, government data said Thursday. The data was far worse than the mild increase analysts had expected, and came after the economy had grown 6.9 percent in the final quarter of 2021.