Asian markets mostly fall as investors weigh Yellen’s comments on banks

5 hours ago

Finance Minister Yellen says that emergency measures to stop banks can be used again if necessary

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that the federal emergency actions used to freeze Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank customers could be used again if necessary.

“We have used important tools to act quickly to prevent contagion. And they are tools we can use again,” Yellen said in written testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

“The strong actions we have taken ensure that Americans̵[ads1]7; deposits are safe,” she added. “We will certainly be prepared to take further action if warranted.”

Her comments come as regulators have aimed to reassure customers and investors amid the banking crisis fueled by Silicon Valley Bank’s shutdown.

—Alex Harring, Christina Wilkie

An hour ago

Japan’s core inflation falls from peak in January

Japan’s core inflation reading fell from its January peak of 4.2% to 3.1% year-on-year in February, government data showed on Friday.

The reading matches the expectations of economists polled by Reuters.

Overall, nationwide inflation was 3.3% for the month compared to a year ago, also lower than the January print of 4.3%.

The economy’s consumer price index excluding fresh food and energy also rose 3.5% for the month from the previous year.

– Jihye Lee

An hour ago

CNBC Pro: Why a fund manager has never owned a bank stock — and reveals what he’s looking for instead

Some investors are returning to bank shares after last week’s sell-off, but fund manager Ian Mortimer steers clear.

In fact, he has never owned a bank share in any of his funds. He reveals why on CNBC Pro Talks.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

An hour ago

CNBC Pro: Wall Street downgrades European banks, names stocks to buy ‘in case markets turn sour’

Wall Street is downgrading European banks after stress in the sector led to the emergency merger of two major Swiss banks.

Two investments also upgraded another sector, naming a dozen stocks to own “in case markets turn sour.”

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Ganesh Rao

12 hours ago

Unemployment claims are below expectations

Jobless claims were unexpectedly pushed down last week, pointing to a labor market that remains extremely tight.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance were 191,000 for the week ended March 18, below the estimate for 198,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. There was a decrease of 1,000 from the previous period.

Still claims, running a week behind, rose by 14,000 to 1.694 million.

Stock futures fell after the data release.

-Jeff Cox

11 hours ago

Tech stocks lead the market higher

Tech stocks fared better than Thursday, with the Nasdaq 100 index rising more than 1.4%. Netflix was among the best performers, jumping about 7%. Shares of Meta Platforms, Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft also rose more than 1%.

5 hours ago

Cryptocurrency prices rise on Thursday afternoon

Cryptocurrency prices rose on Thursday as investors became optimistic that the Federal Reserve’s rate hike campaign would soon end. Wall Street also shed some of its fears about the ongoing crisis in the banking system.

The price of bitcoin rose more than 4% to $28,290.71, according to Coin Metrics. Ether added nearly 5% to trade at $1,822.50.

Crypto rose with other risk assets. All three major stock indexes were higher the day after their Fed-induced selloff in the previous session.

Check out the full story here.

— Tanaya Machel, Hakyung Kim

6 hours ago

Energy is the biggest laggard in the S&P 500

See diagram…

S&P 500 energy sector 1 day

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