- Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, February 23:
1. Global Stocks Mixed As Traders Digest Fed Minutes
Global stocks partially recovered from losses posted after minutes of the Federal Reserve's January meeting underlined expectations for faster U.S. interest rate hikes, souring appetite for riskier assets around the world.
In Europe, stocks were notably lower in late morning trade. The Stoxx Europe 600index, the region's broadest measure of share prices, rose 0.3%.
Meanwhile, early indications from U.S. futures suggested a higher open for Wall Street. Dow futures were up about 57 points, or around 0.2%, while S&P 500 futuresgained 2 points, or about 0.9%. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 10 points, or roughly 0.1%.
U.S. stocks ended mixed on Wednesday, with the Dow signing its fourth consecutive session in the red.
2. Dollar, Treasury Yields Retreat But Remain Supported
The U.S. dollar premained within close distance of a one-and-a-half-week high hit in the previous session against a basket of major currencies, boosted by speculation the Fed will raise interest rates at a faster pace than currently expected.
The dollar index, which gauges the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.13% at 89.78 by 05:45 a.m. ET (09:45 GMT), just off Thursday's one-and-a-half week high of 90.17.
Meanwhile, yields on the 10-year bond were last trading at 2.899%, just off Wednesday's four-year peak of 2.957% and not far from 3% - a huge psychological milestone for bulls and bears alike.
St Louis Fed President James Bullard tried to lessen expectations for four U.S. rate hikes in 2018, instead of the widely anticipated three. He said on Thursday that policymakers need to be careful not to increase rates too quickly because that could slow the economy.
3. Oil Prices Mixed After Upbeat EIA Weekly Supply Report
Oil prices initially strengthened after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that crude oil inventories fell by 1.6 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 16, compared to expectations for a gain of around 1.8 million barrels.
The report came a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported a supply-drop of around 0.9 million barrels.
Both reports come out one day later than usual due to Monday's President's Day holiday.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract slid 6 cents or about 0.57% to $62.41 a barrel by 06:00 a.m. ET (10:00 GMT), just off a more than two-week high of $63.09 hit on Thursday.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London retreated 45 cents or about 0.68% to $65.94 a barrel, after hitting a more than two-week peak of $66.56 on Thursday.
4. Bitcoin Hovers Around $10,000-Level
The prices of major cryptocurrencies were mixed although Bitcoin remained in the red for a third consecutive day.
The price of the world's biggest virtual currency by market cap, (Bitcoin) lost around 2% to $10,034, after hitting an overnight low of $9,583. After nearly doubling in price since the Feb. 6 low close to $6,000, traders have begun dumping some of their holdings, market participants said.
Other major digital currencies were mixed, with Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, gaining around 4% to $858.72, off a one-week low of $787.00 hit overnight.
The third largest cryptocurrency Ripple advanced around 0.5% to trade at $0.94511. It has declined more than 60% so far this year, making it one of the worst performing digital currencies of 2018.
5. Final Euro Zone Inflation Data
Official data earlier showed that euro zone consumer price inflation rose 1.3% year-over-year in January, in line with expectations.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices slipped 0.9% last month, also in line with expectations.
The euro was lower against the U.S. dollar following the news, with EUR/USD down 0.15% at 1.2311.