Wall Street equities rose on Thursday after data showed the US economy proved to be more resilient than expected in the final quarter of 2022.
The benchmark S&P 500 rose 1.1 per cent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.8 per cent. In Europe, the region-wide Stoxx 600 finished the day 0.4 per cent higher and London’s FTSE 100 added 0.2 per cent.
The gains came after the US commerce department said the world’s biggest economy grew at an annualised pace of 2.9 per cent in the final three months of last year. That was above the 2.6 per cent economists had forecast, marking a milder slowdown from 3.2 per cent in the previous quarter.
A separate report from the labour department showed claims for first-time jobless benefits fell to 186,000 last week from 192,000 the previous week.
The robust data reinforce hopes that the US economy will cool enough to satisfy the Federal Reserve’s goal of slowing inflation, but not so much that it slips into a recession.
US government bonds sold off modestly as investors moved into riskier assets. The yield on the two-year Treasury note rose 0.05 percentage points to 4.2 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rose 0.04 percentage points to 3.5 per cent. Bond prices fall as yields rise.
Investors were also keeping a close eye on corporate reports, with shares in electric-car maker Tesla jumping 11 per cent after its fourth-quarter results were released late on Wednesday.
The group reported record revenues of $24.3bn for the period, up 37 per cent from last year and ahead of the $24.2bn expected by analysts. Net income of $3.7bn was slightly ahead of forecasts for $3.6bn.
Elsewhere, prices for Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, settled 1.6 per cent higher at $87.47. The dollar rose 0.3 per cent against a basket of six other currencies.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 2.4 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1 per cent.