European sharemarkets closed weaker on Friday in response to new inflation data. German producer prices rose by a record 5.3% in July to be up 37.2% on the year – the biggest jump since 1949. Higher energy prices were the key drivers. Just Eat rose 25.8% after agreeing to sell 33% stake in Brazil’s iFood to technology investor Prosus. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.8% to be down 1% on the week. The German Dax index fell by 1.1%. But the UK FTSE index rose by 0.1%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto fell by 0.7% while BHP shares were up by 0.7%.

US sharemarkets fell on Friday. Longer-term bond yields rose, weighing on technology stocks. Shares in Apple fell 1.5% and Microsoft fell by 1.4%. The S&P banking index fell by 2.1%. Shares in Bed Bath & Beyond fell by 40.5% as billionaire investor Ryan Cohen sold his stake in the struggling home goods retailer. The Dow Jones index lost 292 points or 0.9%. The S&P 500 index dropped by 1.3%. And the Nasdaq index fell by 260 points or 2.0%. Over the week the Dow fell 0.2%; the S&P 500 fell by 1.2%; and the Nasdaq fell 2.6%.

US longer-term treasuries fell on Friday (yields higher) in response to the lift in German producer prices. But Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin said on Friday that US central bank officials have “a lot of time still” before they need to decide how large an interest rate increase to approve at their September 20-21 policy meeting. US 10-year yields rose by around 10 points to near 2.98%. But US 2-year yields were steady near 3.24%. Over the week US 10-year yields rose by 13 points while US 2-year yields fell by 1 point.

Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.0095 to lows near US$1.0030 and was near US$1.0034 at the US close. The Aussie dollar fell from near US69.20 cents to US68.60 cents and was near US68.72 cents at the US close. And the Japanese yen eased from near 136.20 yen per US dollar to JPY137.20 and ended US trade near JPY136.93.

Global oil prices rose modestly on Friday. A stronger US dollar constrained gains. A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for buyers in Europe and Asia. The Brent crude oil price rose by US13 cents or 0.1% to US$96.72 a barrel. And the US Nymex crude oil price rose by US27 cents or 0.3% to US$90.77 a barrel. Over the week Brent crude fell by US$1.43 or 1.5% and Nymex crude lost US$1.32 or 1.4%.


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Base metal prices were mixed on Friday. Lead fell by 1.5% and aluminium fell by 0.4% but other metals rose by as much as 2.2% (nickel). Over the week metals fell 1.4-6.9% with lead down the most. But copper bucked the trend, up 0.2%.

The gold futures price fell by US$8.30 an ounce or 0.5% to US$1,762.90 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,748 an ounce at the US close. Over the week gold fell by US$52.60 or 2.9%. Iron ore futures fell by US51 cents or 0.5% to US$104.21 a tonne. Over the week iron ore fell by US$5.65 or 5.1%.

Ahead: No major economic data is released in Australia. In China, a decision on loan prime rates will be announced. In the US the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity index is issued.

Originally published by CommSec