European shares were down, while Asian equities rose today, thanks to the dovish comments from the Federal Reserve Chairman and trade truce hopes.
European markets are trading lower today with shares in France leading the decline. The CAC 40 is down 0.46%, while Germany's DAX is off 0.39% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.12%.
US futures on the S&P and Nasdaq indexes edged lower today indicating a softer opening on Wall Street. The US dollar dipped, while Treasuries advanced.
Asian markets finished higher today with shares in Japan leading the region. The Nikkei 225 ended up 0.97% while China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.74% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.55%.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized patience with respect to further interest-rate hikes and also stated that the central bank would keep shrinking its balance sheet. Elsewhere, there were reports of the Brexit deal being delayed.
Investors are optimistic with hints of progress in talks between the two largest global economies as well as the softer tone of the Fed. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the US on Jan. 30 and 31 for further trade discussions. However, concerns regarding economic growth and earnings as well as the partial government shutdown still remain.
WTI traded around $53 a barrel after rising this week. Gold rose 0.5% today to $1,292.49 an ounce.