27 November 2020
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Good morning, Australia

Craig James
19 October 2020

How’dy USA

In US economic data, retail sales rose by 1.9% in September (survey: +0.8%). Industrial production fell by 0.6% in September (survey: +0.5%). Business inventories were up 0.3% in August (survey: +0.4%). The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose from 80.4 to 81.2 points in October (survey: 80.5).

US share markets were mixed on Friday. Shares in Pfizer rose 3.3% after it said it could seek authorisation for a vaccine it is working on in November. There was continued wrangling over a new pandemic relief package. Economic data was mixed. This week 49 of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings. Of those, 86% beat expectations, according to Refinitiv. The Dow Jones index rose by 112 points or 0.4%. The S&P500 index edged 0.5 points higher or less than 0.1%, But the Nasdaq index was down by 42 points or 0.4%. Over the week, the Dow rose by 0.1%; S&P 500 rose 0.2%; and Nasdaq rose 0.8%.

US treasury bond prices eased on Friday (yields higher). US 2- year yields rose 1 point to near 0.147%. And US 10-year yields rose by 1 point to near 0.749%. For the week, US 2-year yields fell 1 point and US 10-year yields fell 3 points.

Bonjour Europe

European share markets rebounded on Friday on hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer said it could file for US authorisation of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with German partner BioNTech as early as November. Encouraging earnings drove the autos index higher. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 1.3%. The German Dax index rose by 1.6%. And the UK FTSE index rose by 1.5%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto fell by 0.2% but shares in BHP rose by 0.3%.

Hello World!

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1690 to highs near US$1.1745 and was near US$1.1720 at the US close. The Aussie dollar held between US70.70 cents and US70.90 cents and was near US70.80 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from 105.18 yen per US dollar to JPY105.42 and was near JPY105.40 at the US close.

Global oil prices edged lower on Friday. The number of oil rigs operating in the US rose by 12 in the past week, the most since January. Brent crude fell by US23 cents or 0.5% to US$42.93 a barrel. And the US Nymex lost US8 cents or 0.2% to US$40.88 a barrel. Over the week, Brent rose 0.2% and Nymex rose by 0.7%.

Base metal prices were mixed on the London Metal Exchange on Friday. Lead, copper and tin fell by up to 1.3%. Other metals rose by up to 1.5%. For the week, lead fell 3.7% and copper fell 0.6% but nickel rose 2.8%.

The gold futures price fell by US$2.50 or 0.1% to US$1,906.40 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,899 an ounce at the US close. For the week, gold fell by US$19.80 or 1%. Iron ore rose by US15 cents or 0.1% to US$119.05 a tonne. Over the week, iron ore fell by US$6.80 or 5.4%.

G’day Australia

The ACT and NZ general elections are held today. On Monday, China economic growth (GDP) figures are scheduled with monthly retail sales, production and investment data. In the US, the NAHB housing market index and budget statement are due.

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