In US economic data, existing home sales fell 1.5% in December to a 4.02 million annualised rate (survey: 3.95m) – a 12-year low.

European sharemarkets rose on Friday. Travel & leisure rose 1.3% and Retail rose 1.1% on hopes for a re-opening of the Chinese economy from Covid-19 lockdowns. Shares in Ericsson fell 4.7% after it reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter core earnings. The continent-wide FTSEurofirst 300 index gained 0.4% to be up 0.1% on the week. The UK FTSE 100 index rose by 0.3% on Friday.

US sharemarkets rose on Friday, lifted by technology stocks. Shares in Netflix rose 8.5% in response to earnings figures. Shares in Google parent Alphabet rose 5.3% after announcing 12,000 job cuts. But shares in Goldman Sachs fell 2.5% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Reserve was probing the company’s consumer business. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index was up by 331 points or 1.0%. The S&P 500 index lifted 1.9%. And the Nasdaq index gained 288 points or 2.7%. Over the week the Dow fell 2.7%; the S&P 500 lost 0.7%; but the Nasdaq rose by 0.6%.

US government bonds fell on Friday (yields higher) as traders reassessed recent moves at the end of the week. Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said on Friday that he supports scaling back to quarter-point rate hikes at the Fed’s next meeting. The view was supported by Fed presidents Harker and George on Friday. US 10-year Treasury yields rose by 8 points to 3.48%. US 2-year yields lifted 6 points to 4.18%. Over the week US 10-year yields fell 2 points with US2-year yields down 4 points.

Major currencies were mostly stronger against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro held between US$1.0800 and US$$1.0856 and was near session highs at the US close. The Aussie dollar lifted from near US68.10 cents to US69.73 cents and was near session highs at the US close. But the Japanese yen eased from 128.75 yen per US dollar to JPY130.60 and was near JPY129.55 at the US close.


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Global oil prices rose as much as 1.7% on Friday on hopes that a re-opening of the Chinese economy will lift oil demand. A price cap on Russian oil is also supporting prices. The Brent crude oil price rose by US$1.47 or 1.7% to US$87.63 a barrel. The US Nymex crude oil price added US98 cents or 1.2% to US$81.31 a barrel. Over the week Brent rose US$2.35 or 2.8%. Nymex rose US$1.45 or 1.8%.

Base metal price futures prices were firmer on Friday. The US aluminium futures price rose 0.7%. And the US copper futures price lifted 0.6%. Over the week aluminium rose 0.3% and copper rose 1.1%.

The gold futures price rose US$4.30 or 0.2% to US$1,928.20 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,927 an ounce at the US close. Over the week gold rose by US$6.50 an ounce or 0.3%. Iron ore futures rose by US37 cents a tonne or 0.3% to US$122.16 a tonne. Over the week iron ore fell by US17c or 0.1%.

Ahead: No major economic data is scheduled in Australia. CommSec issues the latest State of the States report.

Diversified miner South32 is expected to provide a trading update.

Chinese financial markets are closed for the week long Lunar New Year holiday.

In the US, the Conference Board leading index is released.

Origininally published by CommSec