Asian shares ended mostly lower on Friday, tracking overnight weakness in global equities after several Fed officials expressed concerns about continuing to expand stimulative bond buying. But, Japanese stocks surged as the market played catch-up with the region on its first trading day of 2013.
Independent ratings agency Egan-Jones, which slashed the U.S. sovereign credit rating twice last year, said it has no intention of further downgrading the country this year, praising efforts by U.S. lawmakers to avert the "fiscal cliff".
The Fed minutes triggered a sell-off in equities as investors fretted over a possible end to historically low interest rates. The upside? Analysts say this reflects confidence in the U.S. economy.
The dollar climbed to a three-week high against a basket of currencies as concerns about budget wrangling in Washington drove investors to the U.S. currency.
Stocks finished lower Thursday after the Fed meeting minutes revealed disagreement on how long the central bank should buy bonds and as investors took a pause following the previous session's sharp 'cliff' deal rally.
Yields on benchmark U.S. government debt hit a near eight-month high on Thursday on signs of growing doubts within the Federal Reserve on its bond-buying program and after stronger-than-expected private jobs data lifted hopes for Friday's labor figures.
Oil slipped on Thursday, after prices hit 11-week highs, on worries about looming U.S. budget battles and signs of growing concern by the U.S. Fed about buying bonds to spur economic growth.
Gold fell on signs that the Federal Reserve is increasingly concerned about the risks of the Fed's asset purchases on financial markets, which undercut bullion's appeal. .
European shares finished mixed Thursday, while the Swiss SMI index soared over 2 percent, catching up on gains following the U.S. "fiscal cliff" deal.
The eleventh hour deal reached to avert the fiscal cliff in the U.S. merely masks the bleak long-term outlook for the country, Nouriel Roubini said in an opinion piece published in the Financial Times newspaper on Thursday.
The market rally currently taking hold is "totally misplaced" and February's looming debt ceiling could bring a very scary surprise, one strategist told CNBC Thursday.
Asian stock markets edged higher on Thursday on hopes of a steady economic revival in China although gains were marginal compared to the previous session's strong gains as investors took some money off the table and braced for more U.S. budget battles.
The deal finally reached over the U.S. “fiscal cliff” should ultimately be positive for the U.S. stock market and investors should buy U.S. equities on any weakness, according to The Gartman Letter writer and editor Dennis Gartman.
John Wraith, fixed income strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, tells CNBC that remaining uncertainties are going to limit any significant sell off in the core bond markets.
Dennis Gartman, founder, editor & publisher of The Gartman Letter, tells CNBC why he's reluctantly long equities. (1:26)
Stocks could take a break Thursday after Wednesdays' super-charged rally gave the Dow its best New Year's gain ever.
Stocks kicked off the first trading day of 2013 with a sharp 2-percent rally across the board fueled by the last-minute budget deal by lawmakers to avert the "fiscal cliff" that would have pushed the economy into recession.
U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields hit their highest in over three months after lawmakers approved a deal that prevented a round of automatic budget cuts and tax hikes that could have tipped the world's largest economy into recession.
The dollar suffered against higher-yielding currencies after U.S. lawmakers approved a last-minute deal to avert huge tax rises and spending cuts, spurring demand for riskier investments.
Oil prices rose to 11-week highs as part of a cross-market rally after the U.S. Congress approved a deal to avert tax hikes and spending cuts that threatened economic growth.