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The Unstoppable Surge of Crude Oil and the Sparkling Rise of Signet Jewelers

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U.S. stock markets maintained a steady course midway through trading, anticipating an imminent interest-rate decision from the Federal Reserve.


The Dow inched up by 0.03% to 39,123.89, while the NASDAQ dipped slightly by 0.01% to 16,165.15. The S&P 500 also saw a modest uptick, gaining 0.01% to reach 5,178.79.


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Sector Performance


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Industrial stocks saw a 0.5% rise on Wednesday.


Meanwhile, energy shares experienced a 0.6% decline in trading.


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Crude Oil Steals the Spotlight


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In a dramatic turn of events, U.S. crude oil inventories plummeted by 1.952 million barrels in the week ending March 15, a stark contrast to the marketโ€™s prediction of a mere 0.013 million barrel increase.


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Equities Making Strides


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ETAO International Co., Ltd. ETAO witnessed a remarkable 80% surge, reaching $0.2581 as the company revealed plans for a reverse stock split.


Shares of XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. XTLB soared by an astounding 113% to $2.19 post the announcement of acquiring The Social Proxy.


TruGolf Holdings, Inc. TRUG also experienced a significant 53% increase, climbing to $1.76 following the disclosure of an expanded AI technology licensing agreement with mlSpatial.


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Equities Facing Setbacks


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Lifecore Biomedical, Inc. LFCR encountered a significant 31% decrease to $4.9481 following the conclusion of a strategic evaluation process, management succession announcement, and board changes.


Shares of Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. AQST dipped by 15% to $4.52. This decline followed Aquestive Therapeuticsโ€™ underwritten public offering announcement of 16,666,667 common shares at $4.50 per share, totaling $75 million.


Signet Jewelers Limited SIG observed an 11% drop to $91.07 post reporting disappointing fourth-quarter sales and offering weak guidance for FY25.


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Commodity Market Moves


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In the world of commodities, oil witnessed a downward spiral of 2.2%, reaching $81.67, while gold saw a slight 0.1% decrease to $2,159.00.


Silver retreated by 0.2% to $25.09 on Wednesday, whereas copper experienced a 0.7% decline, settling at $4.0475.


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Developments in the Euro Zone


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European markets displayed a mixed sentiment today. The eurozoneโ€™s STOXX 600 saw a marginal fall of 0.05%, while Londonโ€™s FTSE 100 and Spainโ€™s IBEX 35 Index rose by 0.02% and 0.28% respectively. The German DAX also nudged up by 0.02%, but the French CAC 40 and Italyโ€™s FTSE MIB Index experienced contractions of 0.59% and 0.06% respectively.


Noteworthy shifts included a 1.2% decline in industrial production in Italy for January and a 4.1% year-over-year drop in producer prices in Germany for February. In the UK, producer prices rose by 0.4% year-over-year, with the inflation rate softening to 3.4% in February.


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Asia Pacific Markets in Focus


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Asian markets closed on a positive note on Wednesday, with Hong Kongโ€™s Hang Seng Index rising by 0.08%, Chinaโ€™s Shanghai Composite Index gaining 0.55%, and Indiaโ€™s S&P BSE Sensex edging up by 0.1%.


The Peopleโ€™s Bank of China maintained benchmark lending rates at the latest fixing.


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Economic Indicators Worth Noting


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U.S. mortgage applications saw a 1.6% decline for the week ending March 15.


Additionally, crude oil inventories in the U.S. saw a significant reduction of 1.952 million barrels in the same week, vastly differing from the estimated slight increase of 0.013 million barrels.


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