Howd’y USA

Economic data, both headline retail sales and sales excluding autos rose by 0.2% in November, in line with forecasts. Industrial production rose by 0.6% in November (forecast +0.3%). Production is up 3.9% on the year. US share markets ended lower on Friday. Investors responded to weak Chinese economic data. Investors await the Federal Reserve rate decision on Thursday. There are also fears of a US government shutdown on December 21. And investors watched developments on the UK Brexit crisis. At the close of trade the Dow Jones was down by 497 points or 2.0%. The S&P500 index fell by 1.9%. The Nasdaq index lost 160 points or 2.3%. Over the week the Dow lost 1.2%, the S&P 500 fell 1.3% and the Nasdaq lost 0.8%. US treasury bond prices rose on Friday (yields lower) as investors favoured safe-haven assets. However US economic data met or exceeded forecasts. US 2-year yields fell by 2 points to 2.74% and US 10-year yields fell by 2 points to 2.89%. Over the week US 2-year yields rose by 3 points and US 10-year yields rose by 4.5 points.

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in US and European trade compared with the Asia close. The Euro fell from near US$1.1360 to US$1.1270 and was near US$1.1305 in late US trade. The Aussie fell from near US71.90 cents to around US71.50 cents and was near US71.80 cents in late US trade. And the Japanese yen rose from 113.67 yen per US dollar to JPY113.20 and was near JPY113.35 in late US trade.

Global oil prices fell on Friday with weak Chinese economic data raising concerns about the strength of future global oil demand. Weak equities markets weighed on commodity sentiment. But according to Baker Hughes the number of oil rigs in operation in the US fell by four in the latest week to 873. Brent crude fell by US$1.17 (or 1.9%) to US$60.28 a barrel and the US Nymex price fell by US$1.38 or 2.6% to US$51.20 a barrel.

Zǎoshang hǎo, China

In the year to November, Chinese retail sales rose 8.1%, production rose 5.4% and investment rose 5.9%. 

Bonjour, Europe

European share markets fell on Friday. Investors focussed on weak European and Chinese economic data. Also European leaders told the UK Prime Minister that they wouldn't be renegotiating the Brexit deal. The autos sector lost 1.3%. The pan-European STOXX600 index fell by 0.6% with the UK FTSE and the German Dax index both falling by 0.5%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto fell by 1.6% with BHP down by 0.9%.

Base metal prices were generally lower on the London Metal Exchange on Friday. Zinc fell 2.4% and other metals fell up to 0.5% but nickel rose by 2.1%. Over the week, tin rose 1.9% and nickel rose 1.5% but zinc fell 4.2% and aluminium fell 2.2%.  

The gold futures price fell by US$6 an ounce on Friday or 0.5% to $1,241.40 an ounce. The spot gold price was trading near US$1,238 an ounce in late US tradeOver the week gold fell by US$11.20 or 0.9%. Iron ore rose by US$1.70 on Friday or 2.5% to US$69.90 a tonne. Over the week iron ore rose by US$2.95 or 4.4%. 

G’day, Australia!

Overseas arrivals and departures data is released with the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook report.

Have a great day, Australia!