In Asian Equity Markets stocks crept higher on Monday as Chinese economic data surprised on the high side, challenging assumptions the giant economy was locked into in a downturn although falling mainland house prices remained a nagging worry. Chinese blue chips were a fraction lower after the data, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent. Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.5 percent as data showing economic activity shrank by more than expected in the third quarter only reinforced the case for aggressive fiscal stimulus.
In Currency Markets the dollar eased back from near an almost 16-month high versus major peers on Monday, as traders awaited fresh clues on the U.S. economy after bringing forward bets last week for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike on the back of red-hot inflation. The dollar index eased 0.13 percent to 95.012 from Friday. The euro added 0.13 percent to $1.1457, but still within sight of Friday’s 16-month low of $1.1433. The dollar fell 0.06 percent to 113.845 yen. Sterling rose 0.18 percent to $1.34355, while the risk-sensitive Australian dollar rose 0.18 percent to $0.743.
In US Equity Markets stock indexes rose on Friday, as Johnson & Johnson and big technology and communication stocks led gains at the end of a week scarred by deepening concerns over prolonged inflation. The Dow rose 0.45 percent, to 36,082.01; the S&P 500 gained 0.66 percent, at 4,679.89; and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.9 percent, at 15,844.98. Shares of Johnson & Johnson gained 1.3 percent on news that the healthcare giant will split into two companies, dividing its consumer health care segments from its pharmaceuticals/medical devices business.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Friday, wiping out gains from the previous session, on worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve will accelerate plans to boost interest rates to tame inflation. Brent crude futures fell 0.8 percent, to settle at $82.17 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 1 percent, to settle at $80.79 a barrel. Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,866.87 per ounce. Elsewhere, spot silver gained 0.4 percent at $25.32 per ounce and palladium rose 2.8 percent to $2,116.45 per ounce. Platinum fell 0.2 percent to $1,083.49.
In European Equity Markets stocks closed their sixth straight week of gains at a new high on Friday, as strong results from Cartier owner Richemont rounded off a robust earnings season. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3 percent to a new peak of 486.75 points and added 0.7 percent for the week. Richemont rose 10.9 percent after it beat six-month profit estimates and said it was seeking investors for its loss-making Yoox business. The luxury sector also got a boost from France’s LVMH, which gained 2.5 percent on news that Louis Vuitton was planning to open its first duty-free store in China.
In Bond Markets selling in U.S. Treasury markets paused on Friday as data showed consumer sentiment plunged to a 10-year low on inflation worries, leaving traders trying to gauge the pace of future central bank interest rate hikes. The yield on the U.S. five-year note was up 2.3 basis points at 1.2357 percent, after earlier in the day reaching 1.263 percent, the highest since February 2020 and up five basis points from Wednesday. The benchmark 10-year note was up 2.4 basis points at 1.5818 percent on Friday. The 10-year breakeven rate held near 2.71 percent, the highest since May 2006.