In US economic data, personal income rose by 0.7% in October (survey: +0.4%). Personal spending lifted by 0.8% in October (survey +0.8%). The key inflation measure – the core PCE deflator – lifted by 0.2% in October to be up 5% on the year (survey: +5%). Construction spending fell 0.3% in October (survey: -0.2%). The ISM manufacturing index fell from 50.2 to 49 in November (survey: 49.7). Challenger job cuts surged 127% to 76,835 in November (survey: +35,000). Initial jobless claims fell by 16,000 to 225,000 last week (survey: 235,000).
Continental European sharemarkets were mostly firmer on Thursday as investors cheered US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hints of smaller interest rate hikes. Technology shares advanced by 2.9%, boosted by a drop in euro zone government bond yields. The euro zone jobless rate eased from 6.6% to a record low 6.5% in October (survey: 6.6%). The continent-wide FTSEurofirst 300 index rose by 0.7% but the UK FTSE 100 fell by 0.2%.
US sharemarkets were mixed on Thursday as a contraction in US manufacturing activity clouded data showing a mild easing in inflation and solid consumer spending. Shares of Salesforce slid 8.3%, dragging down the Dow Jones index, after the software maker announced that its co-CEO would be stepping down.
Costco shares dropped 6.6% after November sales slowed to 5.7% from 7.7% in October. Dollar General shares fell 7.6% after the discount retailer cut its annual profit forecast. But a 3.7% lift in Netflix shares supported the Nasdaq index. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index fell by 195 points or 0.6% and the S&P 500 index fell by 0.1%. But the Nasdaq index added 14 points or 0.1%.
US government bonds rose on Thursday (yields lower) following softer-than-expected inflation and factory data. US 10-year Treasury yields fell by around 20 points to near 3.50%. And US 2-year Treasury yields slid by around 13 points to 4.24%. Major currencies were mostly stronger against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.0396 to highs near US$1.0529 and was near US$1.0520 at the US close. But the Aussie dollar fell from highs near US68.38 cents to lows near US67.82 cents and was near US68.10 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen lifted from near 136.72 yen per US dollar to near JPY135.20 and was around JPY135.30 at the US close.
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Global oil prices were mixed on Thursday after top crude importer China eased Covid-19 curbs in two major cities, while the US dollar fell on the view that the US Federal Reserve might slow down on interest rate hikes. Bloomberg also reported that EU states are considering a plan to cap the price of Russian oil at US$60 a barrel. The Brent crude oil price fell by US9 cents or 0.1% to US$86.88 a barrel. But the US Nymex crude oil price lifted by US67 cents or 0.8% to US$81.22 a barrel.
Base metal prices advanced on Thursday. Copper prices lifted 1.8% as investors bet that slower US interest rate hikes and an easing of China’s Covid-19 restrictions would improve the outlook for demand. Aluminium was up by 0.5%.
The gold futures price rose by US$55.30 an ounce or 3.1% to US$1,815.20 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near
US$1,803 an ounce at the US close. Iron ore futures rose by US$1.27 a tonne or 1.2% to US$103.10 a tonne.
Ahead: In Australia, data on lending indicators and detailed retail trade are released. Reserve Bank (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe participates in a panel discussion.
In the US, nonfarm payrolls (jobs) data is issued. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks.
Originally published by CommSec