European sharemarkets were firmer on Friday after China cut the 5-year loan prime rate by a bigger-than-expected 15 basis points to 4.45%. In economic data, British retail sales rose unexpectedly in
April while German producer prices posted a record increase in the month. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 0.7% on Friday but lost 0.5% on the week. The German Dax index rose by 0.7% and the UK FTSE index rose by 1.2%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto rose by 1.9% while BHP shares gained 2.9%.

US sharemarkets were mixed on Friday. Shares in Tesla fell 6.4% in response to a negative news report. Shares in heavy equipment maker Deer & Co fell 14% in response to an earnings report. Shares in discount clothing retailer Ross Stores fell 22.5% after it cut its sales and profit forecasts. The Dow Jones index closed higher by 9 points or less than 0.1%. The S&P 500 index rose by less than 0.1%. But the Nasdaq index shed 34 points or 0.3%. Over the week the Dow fell 2.9% – the eighth straight decline and the longest losing streak since 1932. The S&P 400 fell 3.0% and the Nasdaq fell 3.8% – the seventh straight declines and the longest losing streak for both indexes since 2001.

US treasuries rose on Friday (yields lower). US 10-year yields fell by around 7 points to near 2.79%. And US 2-year yields fell by around 2 points to near 2.59%. Over the week US 10-year yields fell by 14 points and US 2-year yields were broadly unchanged.

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.0595 to lows near US$1.0530 and was near US$1.0560 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US70.70 cents to lows near US70.05 cents and was near US70.35 cents at the US close. But the Japanese yen lifted from 128.25 yen per US dollar to JPY127.60 and was near JPY127.85 at the US close.

Global oil prices rose by 0.5%-1.0% on Friday. Supporting prices was the prospect of an European Union ban on Russian oil imports as well as the expected end to the Shanghai Covid lockdown on June 1. The Brent crude price rose by US51 cents or 0.5% to US$112.55 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude price gained US$1.02 or 0.9% to US$113.23 a barrel. The more actively-traded July contract rose by 0.4%. Over the week Brent rose by US$1.00 or 0.9% with Nymex up US$2.74 or 2.5%.

Base metal prices were mixed on Friday. Nickel, copper and zinc fell by as much as 0.9%. Other metals rose, with lead up 6.2%. Over the week metals rose between 2.8% and 7% with nickel up the least and lead up the most.

The gold futures price rose by US90 cents or less than 0.1% to US$1,842.10 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,846 an ounce at the US close. Over the week, gold rose by US$33.90 or 1.9%. The iron ore futures price advanced by US$3.33 or 2.5% to US$134.36 a tonne after China announced a bigger-than-expected cut in the benchmark reference rate for mortgages. Over the week iron ore rose by US$3.43 or 2.6%. Ahead: In Australia, the monthly household spending indicator is issued and Reserve Bank Assistant Governor (Financial Markets) Christopher Kent delivers a speech. In the US, the Chicago Federal Reserve national activity index is scheduled.

Originally published by CommSec