On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed higher after a tumultuous day of trading, with investors trying to overcome concerns about the stability of the banking sector and the potential credit crunch. Mega-cap companies such as Apple and Microsoft were responsible for the gains that put the Nasdaq 100 close to the threshold of a bull market, with almost a 20% surge from its low in December.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced late Thursday that the federal government would take additional steps to stabilize the banking system if required, according to prepared remarks for a House hearing.
In Switzerland, the central bank increased borrowing costs by 50 basis points after local authorities helped broker a deal for UBS Group to acquire scandal-ridden Credit Suisse Group. Meanwhile, the Bank of England raised its policy rate by 25 basis points, marking its 11th consecutive increase.
Moody’s Investors Service warns of the growing risk that banking stress could spread to other sectors and the U.S. economy, resulting in greater financial and economic damage than anticipated, despite the prompt action taken by regulators and policy makers.
IT services company Accenture Plc lowered its annual revenue and profit forecasts, citing the worsening global economic outlook and reduced spending by clients focused on cost optimization. The company will also reduce its workforce by 2.5% or 19,000 jobs. The company’s sequential revenue growth for the Feb quarter increased by 0.4%, but net income fell 22.46% from the previous quarter.
On Friday, Asian equities slid as the technology-driven rally on Wall Street failed to alleviate concerns surrounding the banking sector. Nifty also gave up its morning gains on March 23, closing 0.44% lower at 17076.9. The short-term top for Nifty may have been established at 17207 if it fails to resume its uptrend on March 24.