U.S. Equity Markets continued their choppy trade, finishing the day lower, led by the NASDAQ 100 which closed with a loss of 0.56%. A spike in bond yields weighed on markets. This has been a theme playing out over the past few weeks. Higher bond yields spark fears of higher borrowing costs, which could impact the growth outlook for some companies. Other news was positive, however. President Joe Biden said 90% of all U.S. adults should be eligible to receive a COVID-19 inoculation by April 19, boosting the economic outlook. And Consumer Confidence rose to the highest level since the pandemic hit, as respondents expressed optimism over spending on big-ticket purchases in the coming months. Investors are still awaiting Biden’s announcement on a $2.25 trillion infrastructure package, which is expected to come this afternoon. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the White House anticipates paying for the bill without using gas or mileage taxes. European Markets closed near record highs. The European Central Bank maintained its inflated rate of Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme Bond Buying in an attempt to keep rising bond yields in check. Saudi Arabia was said to be in favour of the OPEC extending its current production cuts through May and June. Euro-Zone Economic Sentiment rose in March, coming in above its long-term average for the first time since the pandemic began, on Industrial and Employment optimism. European Union coronavirus vaccinations rose to 69.3 million yesterday, with a daily average of 1.56 million doses administered over the last week. Elsewhere, Bitcoin rose 2.35% after PayPal launched cryptocurrency payments to online stores, while Gold fell 1.80% on continued Dollar strength.
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