US economy slows down, falling short of expectations

Dollar holds steady as gold resumes decline below $2,000 level

By Raed Alkhedr | @raedalkhedr | 5 July 2023

  • The US economy grew by 1.1% in the first quarter of this year

  • US stock indices rose amid anticipation of further quarterly earnings results from companies

  • Economic recession fears wiped out all gains in oil

US GDP growth for Q1 falls short of expectations while unemployment claims decline

The US economy has underperformed compared to expectations, according to the latest data released. The preliminary reading of the US GDP for the first quarter of this year shows that the economy grew at a rate of 1.1%, significantly lower than the expected 2.0%. This is a notable slowdown from the 2.6% growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2022.

In addition, the US Labor Department reported 230,000 new unemployment claims, indicating a slight improvement from the previous reading of 245,000. This marks the first weekly decline in the last three weeks.

Despite the economic slowdown, the US dollar index remains relatively stable, trading near 101.70 points. However, the price of gold has fallen below the $2,000 level, currently trading near $1,984 per ounce.

US stocks open higher as earnings results take center stage

US stock indices opened higher on Thursday's trading session, with investors closely monitoring quarterly earnings reports from companies to assess the state of the US economy amid ongoing inflationary pressures and the Federal Reserve's interest rate policies.

The Dow Jones index climbed to around 33,423 points, while the S&P 500 index rose to around 4,082 points, and the Nasdaq index reached 12,957 points.

Investors are now awaiting this weekend's release of data on personal spending in the US for March, which is considered one of the Federal Reserve's preferred measures of inflation. The report's findings could have a significant impact on the future of the economy and the Fed's policies.

Overall, with the focus on earnings reports and upcoming economic data, the US stock market seems to be holding its own despite ongoing concerns over inflation and other potential economic headwinds.

Oil prices stabilize after recent drops amid economic concerns and interest rate expectations

After experiencing sharp declines in oil prices yesterday due to ongoing economic concerns and expectations of interest rate hikes, today's trading saw oil prices stabilize. West Texas Intermediate crude was trading near $74 per barrel, while Brent crude was trading near $77 per barrel.

Investors remain worried that central banks' interest rate hikes to combat inflationary pressures may adversely affect economic growth rates, which could harm demand for oil.

Despite these concerns, earlier data from the US Energy Information Administration revealed a decrease in crude inventories in the US by approximately 5.1 million barrels last week.

Overall, the oil market seems to be holding steady for the time being, with investors watching closely for any developments that could impact future prices.