25 January 2021
1300 794 893

Good morning, Australia

Craig James
18 May 2020

How’dy USA

In US economic data, retail sales fell 16.4% in April (forecast - 12%) to be down 21.6% on a year ago. Industrial production fell 11.2% in April (forecast -11.5%) to be down 15% on a year ago. Consumer confidence rose from 71.8 to 73.7 in May (forecast 68). Job openings, according to the JOLTS survey, eased from 7.004 million to 6.191m in March.

US share markets rose on Friday despite rising US-China trade tensions. The Trump Administration moved to block global chip supplies to blacklisted telecoms equipment company Huawei Technologies. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index was up by 60 points or 0.3%. The S&P500 index was higher by 0.4% and the Nasdaq index rose by 71 points or 0.8%. Over the week the Dow fell 2.7%, the S&P 500 fell by 2.3% and the Nasdaq fell 1.2%.

US longer-term treasury bond prices fell on Friday (yields higher) as investors monitored the re-opening of advanced economies, trade tensions with China and digested economic data. US 2-year yields were flat near 0.149% and US 10-year yields rose by 2 points to near 0.64%. Over the week US 2-year yields were flat and US 10-year yields fell by 4 points.

Bonjour Europe

European share markets rose on Friday. Miners rose the most (up 2.75%) in response to firmer Chinese industrial production. The pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.5% but was down 3.8% on the week. The German Dax index rose 1.2% despite the economy contracting 2.2% in the March quarter. The UK FTSE index was up by 1.0%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto were up by 4.4% and BHP shares rose by 4.3%.

Hello World!

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.0790 to highs near US$1.0845 and was around US$1.0815 at the US close of trade. The Aussie dollar eased from near US64.70 cents to US64.05 cents and was near US64.15 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen fell from JPY106.86 per US dollar to near JPY107.36 and was near JPY107.02 at US close.

Global oil prices rose on Friday by between 4-7%. Investors remained optimistic that easing of lockdown restrictions in advanced nations will lead to stronger fuel demand. The Brent crude price rose by U$1.37 or 4.4% to US$32.50 a barrel. The US Nymex price lifted by US$1.87 or 6.8% to US$29.43 a barrel. Over the week Brent crude rose 4.9% and Nymex rose by 19%.

Base metal prices fell by between 0.3-1.8% on Friday with copper down the least and nickel down the most. But zinc went ahead of the trend, up 0.4%. Over the week metals fell 1.3-3.9% with nickel down the most and tin down the least.

The gold futures price rose by US$15.30 or 0.9% to US$1,753.40 an ounce. Spot gold was near US$1,741 an ounce in late US trade. Over the week gold rose by US$43.50 an ounce or 2.5%. Iron ore rose by US$2.50 or 2.8% to US$93.25 a tonne. Over the week iron ore rose by US$4.80 or 5.4%.

G’day Australia

The Household COVID survey is issued. In the US the National Association of Home Builders index is due.

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