How’dy USA

In US economic data on Friday personal income fell 0.1% in January (forecast +0.4%) after rising 1% in December. Spending fell 0.5% (forecast -0.2%) in December with January data not available. The Federal Reserve's preferred inflation indicator - the core personal consumption deflator - rose 0.2% in December as expected to be up 1.9% over the year. The ISM manufacturing index eased from 56.6 to 54.2 in February (forecast 55.5). Consumer sentiment rose from 91.2 to 93.8 in February (forecast 95.7).

US share markets rose on Friday. Bloomberg reported that a US China summit on trade could happen by mid-March. Economic data was mixed but inflation was retrained. The Dow Jones index rose by 110 points or 0.4%. The S&P500 index was higher by 0.7%. And the Nasdaq index was up by 63 points or 0.8%. Over the week the Dow fell 0.02% but the S&P 500 rose by 0.4% and the Nasdaq rose by 0.9%. The Nasdaq has risen for 10 straight weeks, the longest winning streak since 1999.

US treasuries were weaker on Friday (yields higher). US 2-year yields rose by 4 points to 2.56% and US 10-year yields rose by 5 points to 2.76%. Over the week US 2-year yields rose by 7 points and US 10-year yields rose by 10 points.

The gold futures price fell by US$16.90 an ounce or 1.3% to $1,299.20 an ounce on Friday. The spot gold price was near US$1,293 an ounce in late US trade. Over the week gold fell by US$33.60 or 2.5%. Iron ore rose by US$2.50 or 2.9% to US$87.30 a tonne. Over the week iron rose by US60 cents or 0.7%.

Bonjour Europe

European share markets rose to 5-month highs on Friday. The pan-European STOXX600 index rose by 0.4%. German retail sales jumped 3.3% in January with the jobless rate at a 29-year low of 2.9%. Britain's WPP, the world's biggest advertising company, rose 4.9% in reaction to earnings results. The German Dax gained 0.8% and the UK FTSE rose by 0.5%. In London trade, shares of Rio Tinto rose by 0.5% while BHP fell by 0.3%.

Hello, world!

Global oil prices fell 2.0-2.5% on Friday. The US ISM manufacturing index fell to 2-year lows, igniting concerns about global oil demand. But the number of oil rigs in operation in the US fell by 10 in the latest week, the second fall in five weeks. And Reuters survey data showed that OPEC pumped 30.68 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, down 300,000 bpd from January and the lowest OPEC total since 2015. Brent crude fell by US$1.24 or 1.9% to US$65.07 a barrel and the US Nymex price fell by USUS$1.42 or 2.5% to US$55.80 a barrel. Over the week Brent fell 3.1% with Nymex down 2.5%.

Major currencies were weaker against the US dollar in US and European trade compared with the Asia close. The Euro fell from US$1.1405 to US$1.1350 and was near US$1.1375 in late US trade. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US71.20 cents to lows near US70.70 cents and was near US70.80 cents in late US trade. And the Japanese yen eased from 111.66 yen per US dollar to JPY112.07 and was near JPY111.90 in late US trade.

G’day Australia

In Australia ANZ job ads are released with building approvals and the quarterly data on profits, sales and inventories. In the US, construction spending data is released with the ISM New York index.