US stocks rose following choppy trading abroad on Thursday, and oil prices pulled back, as investors watched western leaders present a unified front against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Technology companies lifted US stock indices after a sharp fall in the previous session, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite up 269.24 points, or nearly 2 percent, to 14,191.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 349.44 points, or about 1 percent, to 34,707.94 and the S&P 500 gained 63.92 points, or 1.43 percent, to 4,520.16.
Stocks in Japan rose in early trade Friday as Wall Street stocks rallied overnight and oil prices fell. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.3 percent, while the Topix rose 0.24 percent. Japan reported inflation data, showing its core consumer price index hit a two-year high in March, according to Reuters. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 stayed in positive territory as it inched up 0.13 percent, with some gains in miners.
Frontline indices the Sensex and the Nifty ended in the red for the second consecutive day on March 24 amid weak global cues. Investor sentiment remained fragile as the Ukraine war continues while the Western leaders are meeting in Brussels to discuss increasing military aid to Ukraine. Sensex opened at 57,190.05 against the previous close of 57,684.82 and remained choppy throughout the session. Eventually, the 30-share pack closed with a loss of 89 points, or 0.15 percent, at 57,595.68 while the Nifty settled 23 points, or 0.13 percent, lower at 17,222.75.
Oil prices fell about a $1 on Friday as the United States and allies considered releasing more oil from storage to cool markets and as traders faced higher costs for trading benchmark Brent futures. Brent crude futures fell $1.07, or 0.9 percent, to $117.96 a barrel at 0053 GMT, after sliding 2.1 percent in the previous session. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.20, or 1.1 percent, to $111.14 a barrel, having dropped 2.3 percent in the previous session.
At 8:20 am, the SGX Nifty was trading 35 points or 0.2 percent higher at 17,291, indicating a positive opening for the Indian markets.
The rupee ended 7 paise lower at 76.37 per dollar on March 24, as per the Bloomberg data. The domestic unit is trading sideways owing to the rebound in crude oil prices due to declining inventories, supply disruptions due to a storm, and prospects of further sanctions on Russia. The strength in the US dollar amid bets of an aggressive pace of rate hike path during 2022 and lingering uncertainty due to the ongoing geopolitical crisis is also weighing on the domestic currency.
Gold prices rose to a more than one-week high on March 24 amid inflation worries and uncertainty due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose to its highest level since February 2021 on March 23. Precious metals have been gaining even though the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates and also hinted for aggressive hikes and spike in bond yields.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have net sold shares worth ₹1,740.71 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) have net bought shares worth ₹2,091.07 crore on March 24, as per provisional data available on the NSE.
India’s projected economic growth for 2022 has been downgraded by over 2 per cent to 4.6 percent by the United Nations, a decrease attributed to the ongoing war in Ukraine, with the governemnt expected to face restraints on energy access and prices, reflexes from trade sanctions, food inflation, tightening policies and financial instability, according to a UN report released on Thursday.