Nasdaq notches record closing for the first time since 2021

Japan’s TOPIX hits a lifetime high of 2,707.05 points

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 1 March 2024

Market open
  • AI-led momentum and positive market sentiment drove major indices, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq reaching record highs.

  • Japanese stocks, particularly the Nikkei 225, surged to record levels, outperforming other Asian markets.

  • Despite China's manufacturing contraction, non-manufacturing businesses received a boost from increased consumer spending during the Lunar New Year holiday.

On the Market Watch:

In a state of market optimism, led by the continuation of the AI frenzy and an in-line inflation report, Major indices ended in the green territory overnight.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% to a new record of 5,092, the Nasdaq closed near 18,030. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also saw a modest increase of 0.1%, with a gain of 46 points. Investors seem to be responding positively to the combination of AI-driven momentum and expectations of a potential interest rate cut, shrugging off the June delay.

In Asia, Markets tracked Wall Street gains too, with Japanese stocks notching record highs. Japanese stocks saw the strongest performance, outpacing other Asian markets. The Nikkei 225, a key stock market index in Japan, rose significantly by 1.7%, reaching a record high of 39,920 points, whilst the broader TOPIX index also experienced gains, rising by 1.1% and hitting a lifetime high of 2,707.05 points.

From China, the manufacturing sector has contracted for the fifth consecutive month, contributing to subdued overall business activity. However, non-manufacturing businesses received a boost from heightened consumer spending during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Gold prices stabilized during Asian trade on Friday, nearing the threshold of key levels, fueled by overnight data that fueled optimism easing inflation. The current spot prices for the precious metal are in close proximity to breaching a new trading rage of $2,050 per ounce.

Despite the positive momentum for gold, the continued strength of the dollar has tempered further gains.