Friday, February 22, 2013
After two days of selling initiated by minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting indicating there was even the most minor thought of slowing down extraordinary easing measures, Federal Reserve officials rushed to the media Friday to refute those thoughts. Leaked stories in almost every major financials outlet, along with a CNBC appearanced by FOMC member Bullard declaring the central bank will be providing easy money for "a long time". The pavlovian dog response on Wall Street was typical, as investors rushed back into stocks - the S&P 500 gained 0.9% and NASDAQ 1.0%. After the bell, Moody's downgraded the debt of the U.K.
Oil gained 0.3% to $93.13, gold fell 0.4% to $1572.80 and silver dropped 0.8% to $28.46.
British stocks gained 0.7%, German stocks 1.0%, and French stocks 2.25%.
- Rating agency Moody's stripped the United Kingdom of its AAA credit rating on Friday, making it the latest European country to face a downgrade amid the continent's grim growth prospects. The U.K. was knocked down one notch to Aa1, with its ratings outlook at stable. Moody's said the key drivers of the downgrade included the country's rising debt burden and tepid growth outlook over the next few years.
- The Munich-based Ifo think tank said on Friday its business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, rose to 107.4 in February, up from a revised 104.3 in January. That was the biggest one-month rise since July 2010 and beat even the highest estimate of 106.2 in a Reuters poll of 41 economists, which had a median forecast of 105.0.
Japan's Nikkei added 0.7%, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.5%.