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In US economic data, import prices were flat in April (survey: +0.6%), but were up 12% on a year ago (survey: +12.3%). Export prices rose by 0.6% in April to be up by 18% on a year ago (survey: +19.2%). The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell from 65.2 to a near 11-year low of 59.1 in May (survey: 64).

European sharemarkets climbed on Friday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose by 2.1% with travel and leisure stocks up by 4.8%. The STOXX 600 snapped a four-week losing streak, lifting 0.8%. On Friday, the German Dax index added 2.1% and the UK FTSE index jumped 2.6%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto rose by 2.2% and BHP shares added 2.4%.

US sharemarkets surged higher on Friday, supported by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s reassurance on Thursday that bigger interest rate hikes would be off the table for now. Shares of Nike and Salesforce closed up 4.7% and 4.1%, leading the Dow Jones index higher. Meta Platforms (+3.9%), Alphabet (+2.8%), Apple (+3.2%) and Tesla (+5.7%) shares all finished higher. But Twitter shares plunged 9.7% after Elon Musk claimed his takeover offer was “temporarily on hold.” The Dow Jones index closed up by 466 points or 1.5%. The S&P 500 index gained 2.4% and the Nasdaq index added 434 points or 3.8%. Over the week, the Dow fell 2.1%, the S&P 500 dropped 2.4% and the Nasdaq slipped 2.8%.

US treasuries fell on Friday (yields higher), helped by data that showed US import prices were surprisingly flat in April. US 10-year yields rose by 11 points to near 2.93%. And US 2-year yields lifted by 7 points to near 2.59%. For the week, 10-year yields dipped 21 points and 2-year yields dropped 15 points.

Major currencies were mostly weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.0417 to lows near US$1.0354 and was near US$1.0410 at the US close. But the Aussie dollar rose from lows near US68.65 cents to session highs near US69.40 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from 128.50 yen per US dollar to JPY129.43 and was near JPY129.20 at the US close.

Global oil prices jumped 4% on Friday. US gasoline prices surged to a record high, China appeared ready to ease pandemic restrictions and investors worried supplies will tighten if the EU bans Russian oil. The Brent crude price rose by US$4.10 or 3.8% to US$111.55 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude price added US$4.36 or 4.1% to US$110.49 a barrel. Over the week, Brent lost US84 cents or 0.7%, but the Nymex added US72 cents or 0.7%.

Base metal prices were mixed on Friday. Aluminium rose by 1.8% on shrinking inventories, but nickel shed 2%. Other base metals wavered in a week dominated by growing concerns about global economic growth. For the week, tin dropped by 15.1%.

The gold futures price fell by US$16.40 or 0.9% to US$1,808.20 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,811 an ounce at the US close. Over the week, the gold price fell by US$74.60 or 4%. The iron ore futures price rose by US77 cents or 0.6% to US$130.93 a tonne. For the week, iron ore lost US$7.51 or 5.4%.

Ahead: In China, retail sales, production and investment data are all scheduled. In the US, the Empire State manufacturing index is due.

Originally published by CommSec