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US equities soared to record highs as the Federal Reserve maintained benchmark rates and hinted at a potential 75 basis point rate cut in 2024 to address easing inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a peak, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite reaching two-year highs, reflecting optimism that the Fed sees a possible “soft landing” for the economy. Financial shares surged on expectations of improved profit margins with lower interest rates, and the Russell 2000 Index outpaced its larger counterparts. Treasury yields declined sharply, with the 10-year note hitting a four-month low above 4%. In contrast European shares closed marginally lower after early gains, reflecting subdued risk sentiment ahead of key central bank decisions. Disappointing Eurozone economic data added pressure, and individual share movements varied, with BASF rising on a UBS upgrade, and LVMH stagnating after a JPMorgan downgrade.
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