U.S. Equity Markets broke their losing streak, finishing the day higher, led by the NASDAQ 100 which closed higher by 1.94%, helping the VIX to fall 7%. Equity Markets moved higher following positive jobless data Another 444,000 people filed Initial Jobless Claims in the week ending May 5, lower than last week’s upwardly revised number of 478,000. This is a good sign for the labour market’s recovery, and therefore the broader U.S. economic recovery. Wednesday’s Federal Reserve Minutes remained in the headlines. The U.S. Federal Reserve hinted that if the economy continues to make rapid progress, the central bank may soon discuss a plan for tapering asset purchases. But for now, the support will remain in place. Cryptocurrencies also stayed in the news, with many coins bouncing back yesterday. At the same time, the Treasury called for stricter compliance on cryptocurrency taxes. European Markets closed higher on positive COVID 19 trends. Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias said the country would allow people under 60 to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is confident that COVID-19 vaccines will protect against the new variants, adding that the hospital system is unlikely to be overwhelmed after the country reopens. German Producer Price Index data for April were in line with expectations, but saw a major increase year over year from 2020. In Asia, Japan’s preliminary export data for April were stronger than anticipated, increasing compared to March thanks to higher trade with the U.S. and Europe. The People’s Bank of China left its one- and five-year loan-prime rate unchanged, easing worries that it could tighten monetary policy once again. Taiwan’s government extended COVID-19 restrictions to the entire island, adding that it may need to take greater measures if cases continue to rise. Australia’s full-time employment data for April rose while part-time data decreased, suggesting that companies are becoming increasingly optimistic about long-term growth. Elsewhere, Oil fell 1.96% after Iran said it was confident that sanctions would be lifted, adding to crude supply, while Bitcoin closed 2% higher.
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