In US economic data, existing home sales fell from a 4.71 million annualised pace in September to 4.43m in October (survey: 4.38m). The leading index fell 0.8% in October (survey -0.4%)

European sharemarkets were firmer on Thursday. Autos rose 2.1% with retailers up 0.8%. Shares in Austrian hydropower producer Verbund and energy and environmental services provider EVN rose by between 6-9% after the Austrian government announced plans to introduce a temporary windfall tax of up to 40% for oil, gas and power companies. The continent-wide FTSEurofirst 300 index rose by 1.1%. And the UK FTSE 100 rose by 0.5%.

US sharemarkets were firmer on Friday. Defensive sectors led the way but the energy sector fell 0.9% in response to lower oil prices. Shares in Gap Inc rose 7.6% after latest sales and profit results beat market forecasts. At the close, the Dow Jones index was up by 199 points or 0.6%. The S&P 500 index rose by 0.5%. The Nasdaq index was up by 1.1 points or less than 0.1%. Over the week the Dow was flat; S&P 500 fell 0.7%; and the Nasdaq fell 1.6%.

US government bonds fell on Friday (yields higher) in response to “hawkish” talk by Federal Reserve officials. Federal Reserve of Boston leader Susan Collins noted that for the December policy meeting a “Seventy-five (a 75-basis point rate hike) still is on the table.” Federal funds futures traders are pricing for the fed funds rate to rise to
5.06% by June, from 3.83% now. US 10-year yields rose by 6 points to near 3.83%. US 2-year yields rose by 8 points to near 4.53%. Over the week US 10-year yields rose by 2 points with US 2-year yields up 20 points.

Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from US$1.0390 to US$1.0310 and was near US$1.0325 at the close of US trade. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US67.30 cents to US66.60 cents and was near US66.70 cents at US close. And the Japanese yen eased from near 139.65 yen per US dollar to near JPY140.40 and was around JPY140.35 at the US close of trade.


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Global oil prices fell by around 2% on Friday. Investors are worried about the potential for further aggressive US rate hikes. And investors are concerned about the likelihood of weaker Chinese oil demand with Covid cases still rising. The Brent crude oil price fell by US$2.16 or 2.4% to US$87.62 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude oil price fell by
US$1.56 or 1.9% to US$80.08 a barrel. Over the week Brent fell by US$8.37 or 8.7%. And Nymex fell by US$8.88 or 10%.

Base metal prices were mixed on Friday. Copper fell with the high grade price down by 2.6%. But other base metals rose with nickel and zinc up 1.3%.

The gold futures price fell by US$8.60 an ounce or 0.5% to US$1,754.40 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,750 an ounce in US trade. Over the week gold fell by US$15 an ounce or 0.8%. Iron ore futures fell by US20 cents or 0.2% to US$92.89 a tonne. Over the week iron ore rose by US$2.10 or 2.3%.

Originally published by CommSec