In the US, the economy grew at a 2.9% annual pace in the December quarter (survey: 2.6%). Durable goods orders rose by 5.6% in December (survey: 2.5%). The goods trade deficit rose from US$82.93 billion to US$90.3bn in December (survey: US$82.5bn). Claims for unemployment insurance fell from 192,000 to 186,000 (survey: 205,000) in the past week. New home sales rose from a 0.602 million annual pace to 0.616m in December (survey: 0.617m)

European sharemarkets rose on Thursday. In light of recent positive economic data, investors are hoping for only a mild recession, at worst. Upbeat earnings results also encouraged investors. Retailers rose 2.3%, financial services rose 1.9% and banks rose 1.6%. Encouraging US earnings figures also provided momentum to gains on European bourses. The continent-wide FTSEurofirst 300 index lifted by 0.3%. The UK FTSE 100 index rose by 0.2%.

US sharemarkets were firmer on Thursday. Economic data was firmer than expected. Shares in Tesla rose 11% after better-thanexpected quarterly results. Shares in Chevron rose 4.8% after the oil producer said it would triple its budget for share buybacks to US$75 billion. Refinitiv reports: “So far, 126 companies in the S&P 500 have reported fourth-quarter earnings, with 69% topping consensus estimates. That compares with the average of the past
four quarters of 76%. Analysts now see aggregate S&P 500 earnings dropping 2.7% year-on-year for the period.” At the close, the Dow Jones index was higher by 206 points or 0.6%. The S&P 500 index rose by 1.1%. And the Nasdaq index rose 199 points or 1.8%.

US government bonds were weaker on Thursday (yields higher). US 10-year treasury yields rose 4 points to 3.50%. US 2-year yields rose by 5 points to 4.19%.

Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from near US$1.0925 to
US$$1.0850 and was near US$1.0890 in late US trade. The Aussie dollar eased from near US71.40 cents to near US70.80 cents and was around US71.15 cents in late US trade. And the Japanese yen eased from 129.20 yen per US dollar to JPY130.60 and was near JPY130.25 in late US trade.


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Global oil prices rose by around 1.0% on Thursday. There is continued optimism by investors about a re-opening of the Chinese economy. US economic data exceeded expectations. And US crude stocks rose by less than expected in the past week. The Brent crude oil price rose by US$1.35 or 1.6% to US$87.47 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude oil price rose by US86 cents or 1.1% to US$81.01 a barrel.

Base metal price futures prices were mixed on Thursday. The US aluminium futures price fell by 0.5%. But the US copper futures price rose by 0.6%.

The gold futures price fell by US$12.60 or 0.6% to US$1,930 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,929 an ounce in late US trade. Iron ore futures rose by US56 cents a tonne or 0.5% to US$122.49 a tonne.


In Australia, the Producer Price Indexes and International Trade Price Indexes are released.

In the US on Friday in the US, personal income and spending is issued with the focus on a key measure of prices. Pending home sales and consumer sentiment are also issued.

Originally published by CommSec