Welcome back. Here’s your morning markets update:
– Interesting night on Friday with the Dow up but the Nasdaq and S&P 500 lower on the back of some ordinary earnings from Intel, UPS and General Electric. The data was as expected with housing starts, industrial production and capacity utilisation all around what the pundits had predicted, although University of Michigan’s Consumer Confidence undershot, falling to 80.4 against expectations of 83.5.
– In Europe, it was a universally positive performance reflecting the fact that US stocks fell late in the day. The FTSE rose 0.2%, as did the CAC in Paris, while the DAX rose 0.26%. On the periphery in Milan, the FTSE MIB was 0.47% higher while in Madrid, stocks rose a more subdued 0.10%. One thing of note is that Ireland was upgraded to investment grade by Moody’s on Friday.
– On the ASX, the SPI 200 contract on Friday night lost just 2 points to 5262 bid. Three-year bonds were unchanged at 97.13 (2.87%) and the 10’s rose 1 point to 95.96 (4.04%)
– On FX markets, the US dollar has got its mojo back, driving euro lower to finish the week at 1.3539. USDJPY was largely unchanged at 104.29 while sterling was higher, with GBPUSD finishing the week at 1.6422 after some super strong retail sales in December which were 2.6% up on the previous month. The Swiss franc hardly moved, closing at 0.9100 and the Aussie was under pressure for the fourth day in a row, ending the week at 0.8775 – its lowest level since July 2010. The employment report has really hit Aussie dollar sentiment hard.
– Gold was the standout on Commodity markets, up $11.70 oz to $1252 for a rise of 0.94%. Crude was 0.44% higher and Copper ended the week at $3.38 lb. On the Ags, Corn lost 0.93%, Wheat fell 1.62% but Soybeans were 0.11% higher. Bitcoin has really lost its volatility and sits at $923 this morning.
On the data front today we get the TD inflation data in Australia and Chinese GDP, which will be huge for sentiment about the world’s second biggest economy. In Europe, it’s fairly quiet with German Producer Prices and Italian Industrial data the main releases. In the US, it is Martin Luther King Day, so markets will be closed.
You can find a list of the key data to be released this week here courtesy of Westpac