Telecommunications and health stocks were the winners in New York last night as Dow Jones and Nasdaq rose marginally. The Dow Jones industrial average passed the 13 000 mark and seems to end the week in positive territory. Investors were buying on sporadic dips roiled by conflicting comments from Washington about negotiations on a budget compromise to avoid the “fiscal cliff”, fear for a combination of budget cuts and tax hikes. Wall Street reversed early gains and fell after the Speaker of the House, leading Republican John Boehner, dashed hopes that lawmakers were getting closer to a deal. It picked up at greater optimism for a compromise at the end of the session. The extreme volatility in the markets is probably continuing as long with the stalemate in Congress.
Stock markets in Europe ended in positive territory yesterday on initial compromise optimism from both President Obama and the House Speaker Wednesday night. The exchanges in Asia started the trading day on a positive note. Asian shares rose to a nine-month peak Friday morning. Japan’s industrial output rose unexpectedly 1,8 percent in October, up for the first time in four months. This along with a new announced stimulus package from the Japanese government helped Nikkei win 0,8 %. Also the Shanghai and Taiwan bourses produced healthy gains. The mining giant Rio Tinto is up 3 percent upon presenting savings and restructuring measures worth USD 5 billion.
Japanese yen is losing on the stimulus plans after gaining against the dollar earlier in the week. USD/JPY is trading at 82,45 well inside the newly established 81 – 83 corridor. Euro/USD is again stronger at 1.2999 up 50 points from yesterday’s start. The euro reached 1.3015 on Thursday, the highest level seen since 31st October. The euro is helped by the bail-out package for Greece. It is expected that a skeptical German parliament will approve the support for Greece in a vote today. This will probably give the euro a new temporary boost.
The US government said yesterday that third-quarter gross domestic product expanded at a 2,7 percent annual rate, the fastest pace since late 2011. Export growth help offset weakest consumer spending and the first drop in business investment in more than a year. Brent crude is trading at USD 110, 49 a barrel marginally up from Thursday. US crude futures, NYMEX, is falling 0,4 percent. Increased tensions and escalating violence in Syria and Egypt are stoking permanent fear of oil supply disruptions. Gold has gained back 20 dollars from yesterday’s steep fall and trades at 1727. Silver is at USD 34,20 an ounce, the same level as seen at the peak earlier in the week.
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