Market Insights on Thursday, 28 December 2023: Stock, Forex, Crypto

Market Insights 28 December 2023
Market Insights 28 December 2023

The stock, forex, and cryptocurrency markets saw a mixed day of trading on Thursday, December 28th 2023, the last trading day of the year. Major indices and asset classes moved in different directions as investors closed out positions and prepared for the new year. In this article, we will analyze the key market developments, trends, and outlook across stocks, forex, and crypto markets based on the market insights from December 28th.

Stock Market Insights

Trading Analysis

The major US stock indices ended Thursday’s session on a split note, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average managing a small gain while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite edged lower.

  • The Dow closed up 0.1% at 33,816.91, bouncing back from losses earlier in the week. Gains in financial and retail stocks including Nike and American Express helped offset declines in tech names.
  • The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% to finish at 4,076.60, as losses in communication services and technology shares weighed on the broader index. Meta Platforms and Alphabet dragged down the index.
  • The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.5% to 11,516.81, pulled lower by steep losses in Tesla and Apple. Rising Treasury yields maintained pressure on growth stocks.

In Europe, markets also ended mixed on Thursday amid thin holiday trading:

  • The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed virtually unchanged near a one-month high.
  • Germany’s DAX rose 0.4% to hit a one-month peak, boosted by automakers and banks.
  • France’s CAC 40 added 0.1%, supported by luxury stocks including LVMH and Hermes.
  • UK’s FTSE 100 declined 0.2% as energy stocks fell.

Asian indices mainly rose on Thursday’s session:

  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.6%, driven higher by tech and energy shares.
  • China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.4% to hit a 5-month high, led by infrastructure stocks.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.5% as tech stocks retreated on regulatory concerns.

Key Market Drivers

The mixed trading on the last day of the year came as investors balanced several ongoing factors and themes:

  • Position-squaring – Many traders and funds likely closed out positions ahead of the new year, leading to alternating buying and selling.
  • Economic outlook – While recession risks remain, recent data has eased worries about an imminent downturn, supporting equities.
  • Geopolitics – Tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain elevated, though markets have become accustomed to the uncertainty.
  • Earnings season – Q4 earnings season will kick off in mid-January, and results may fuel further volatility.
  • Fed policy – Markets expect the Fed to slow its pace of rate hikes while remaining hawkish overall in 2023.

Sector Performance

On Thursday, sectors saw diverging performances in line with the mixed trading:

  • Energy stocks fell as oil prices dropped, with Exxon and Chevron both down over 1%.
  • Financials outperformed, helped by rising bond yields and upbeat bank earnings. JPMorgan Chase gained 1.5%.
  • Tech and growth stocks lagged as Treasury yields climbed once again to multi-year highs. Tesla plunged over 8%.
  • Defensive sectors like utilities and consumer staples edged higher, while real estate also advanced.

Market Outlook for 2023

As 2023 approaches, market strategists expect modest single-digit returns for stocks along with elevated volatility:

  • Earnings growth is seen slowing but remaining positive as the economy downshifts.
  • Recession risks are still present but appear contained as inflation cools.
  • The Fed is likely to pause rate hikes in early 2023 but hold rates higher for longer.
  • Geopolitical issues, especially the Russia-Ukraine war, may continue to foster periodic bouts of volatility.
  • Key risks include a spike in inflation, aggressive Fed tightening, or escalation in geopolitical conflicts.

Overall, the US stock market appears primed to leave behind the bear market of 2022, though the path higher may be uneven. Stock selection and sector positioning will be key in navigating any turbulence.

Forex Market Insights

Trading Analysis

In currency markets, the US dollar weakened slightly against major rivals on Thursday’s trading session:

  • The US Dollar Index (DXY), which measures the greenback against six major currencies, dipped 0.1% to 104.65.
  • EUR/USD rose 0.1% to 1.0892, rebounding from earlier declines this week.
  • GBP/USD climbed 0.3% to 1.2280, recovering further from its September lows.
  • USD/JPY fell 0.2% to 132.35 yen per dollar as the yen garnered some safe-haven flows.

The modest dollar softness came as bullish bets on the currency eased slightly amid the year-end trading lull. The greenback remains up significantly in 2022 due to the Fed’s aggressive rate hike campaign.

In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin slumped 2.2% to below $17,000 on Thursday while Ethereum and other altcoins also retreated. Continued volatility has plagued digital asset markets all year.

Key Drivers and Themes

Some of the core fundamental forces shaping currency markets include:

  • Fed policy – With rates still seen peaking in 2023, policy divergence with other central banks should support the dollar.
  • Global growth – Concerns about recessions in Europe and elsewhere are a headwind for currencies like the euro.
  • Risk appetite – Slowing inflation has recently boosted stocks and weighed on safe havens like the yen.
  • China’s economy – Reopening and stimulus measures could aid cyclical currencies like the Aussie dollar.
  • Geopolitics – Events like the Russia-Ukraine conflict can trigger haven demand for currencies like the Swiss franc and yen.

Outlook for 2023

Currency analysts expect the dollar to give back some gains but remain relatively strong in 2023:

  • The Fed is likely to keep interest rates higher for longer compared to the ECB and BoJ.
  • Eurozone growth concerns and China’s reopening present risks for the euro and yuan.
  • Commodity currencies like the Canadian dollar could benefit from stable oil and base metal prices.
  • Low inflation may limit upside for safe havens as risk appetite gradually returns.
  • Overall, the dollar may weaken but retain its advantage against most G10 currencies next year.

Volatility could resurface around central bank meetings, geopolitical developments, and global growth signals – keeping currency markets on their toes.

Cryptocurrency Market Insights

Trading Analysis

Major cryptocurrencies plunged on Thursday, extending the bearish momentum seen for most of 2022:

  • Bitcoin sank 2.2% to $16,750, closing in on multi-year lows reached in November.
  • Ethereum fell 2.7% to $1,200, remaining stuck in the $1,000 to $1,200 range.
  • XRP lost 3.1% to trade near $0.36, continuing to dramatically underperform broader crypto markets.
  • Other altcoins like Solana, Cardano, and Dogecoin saw steep losses exceeding 5%.
  • Overall crypto market capitalization slipped below $850 billion.

Selling pressure has dominated digital asset markets amid rising macro uncertainty and the fallout from several crypto firm collapses.

Key Trends and Factors

Some of the main forces shaping crypto price action include:

  • Fed policy and yields – Crypto is seen as a risk asset that often trades inversely to stocks and yields.
  • Regulatory scrutiny – Heightened oversight of the crypto industry has bred significant investor uncertainty.
  • Issues at major firms – Collapses like FTX’s bankruptcy have undermined confidence.
  • Miner capitulation – Several miners have begun liquidating Bitcoin reserves to stay afloat.
  • Macroeconomy – Recession fears and poor risk appetite have plagued risky assets like crypto.

Market Outlook

Crypto analysts remain cautious on digital assets in the near term but see upside potential in 2023:

  • Bearish pressures may persist into the first half as regulation increases.
  • But lower inflation and easing Fed policy could provide tailwinds later in the year.
  • Bitcoin may find support around $10,000 to $13,000 and see recovery toward $25,000.
  • Ethereum could benefit from network upgrades and increasing utility.
  • Overall, crypto is likely to remain highly volatile with lingering risks.

Upside appears limited until macro uncertainty clears and investors regain their appetite for speculative assets. But the crypto bear market could see its final capitulation in 2023.


Thursday’s trading encapsulated the mixed outlook across financial markets heading into 2023. While stocks may recover from a brutal 2022, risks remain until inflation clearly slows and growth stabilizes. Currency markets point to lingering US dollar strength even as it gives back some gains. And crypto likely faces more volatility and downside before any sustained upside can emerge. With recession worries still lurking, markets are not yet out of the woods – making portfolio resilience and risk management essential in navigating the year ahead.

This article is for informational purposes only and not investment advice. Please consult a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


Social Media: