In US economic data, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index eased from 59.9 to 54.7 in November (survey: 59.5). Inflation expectations edged up from 5.0% to 5.1%.

European sharemarkets were mixed on Friday but still produced the best weekly gains in eight months. Driving shares was a lowerthan-expected lift in US consumer prices and news of an easing of
Chinese Covid restrictions. On Friday, mining rose 2.6%, financial services gained 2.7% and retail rose 2.5%. Restraining prices was news that German consumer prices lifted 11.6% over the year to
October. The continent-wide FTSEurofirst 300 index fell by 0.64 points or less than 0.1%. The UK FTSE 100 fell by 0.8%.

US sharemarkets rose again on Friday, adding to the hefty gains recorded on Thursday. Investors continued to favour technology stocks and smaller companies. Shares in Apple rose 1.9%, Amazon lifted 4.3%, Tesla rose 2.8% and Microsoft lifted 1.7%. Shares in companies exposed to the Chinese economy rose on news that the country will ease Covid restrictions. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index was up by 32.5 points or 0.1%. The S&P 500 index rose by 0.9%. The Nasdaq index gained 209 points or 1.9%. Over the week the Dow rose 4.1%; the S&P 500 rose 5.9%; and the Nasdaq lifted 8.1% – the biggest gain since March.

The US Government bond market was closed on Friday for the Veterans Day holiday. On Thursday US 10-year yields fell by around 32 points to near 3.81%. And US 2-year yields fell by around 30 points to near 4.33%. For the week US 10-year yields fell by 35 points with US2-year yields down 33 points.

Major currencies were stronger against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.0190 to highs near US$1.0360 and was near US$1.0350 at the US close. The Aussie dollar lifted from lows near US66.15 cents to highs near US67.15 cents and was near US67.00 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen firmed from near 141.70 yen per US dollar to JPY138.45 and was near JPY138.80 at the US close.


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Global oil prices rose by around 2.5% on Friday. China announced the easing of some of the Covid-19 restrictions. Reuters noted: “The easing curbs include shortening quarantine times for close contacts of cases and inbound travelers by two days, as well as eliminating a penalty on airlines for bringing in infected passengers.” The Brent crude oil price rose by US$2.32 or 2.5% to US$95.99 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude oil price added US$2.49 or 2.9% to US$88.96 a barrel. Over the week, Brent fell by US$2.58 or 2.6% with Nymex down by US$3.65 or 3.7%.

Base metal prices advanced on Friday as China eased Covid restrictions. A weaker US dollar also boosted purchasing power of buyers in Asia and Europe. Aluminium rose 5.9% while copper was up the least, gaining 2.6%. For the week metals rose by 4.3-13.2% with aluminium up the least and both copper and tin up the most.

The gold futures price rose by US$15.70 an ounce or 0.9% to US$1,769.40 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,770 an ounce at the US close. Over the week gold rose by US$92.80 or 5.5%. Iron ore futures rose by US$2.60 a tonne or 2.9% to US$90.79 a tonne. For the week iron ore rose by US$5.63 or 6.6%.

Originally published by CommSec