Morning Report (5:10 AEST)
In US economic data, the Economic Cycle Research Institute index was up by 4.4% on a year earlier in the latest week, down from 4.5% in the previous week.
European shares were mixed on Friday. The FTSEurofirst 300 index hit a 6-1/2 year high before closing flat. The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.3% over the week. The German Dax lost 0.2% on Friday while the UK FTSE gained 0.3%. Australia´s major miners were mixed in London trade with shares in BHP Billiton up by 0.4% while Rio Tinto lost 0.1%.
US sharemarkets posted modest gains on Friday. The Dow Jones rose by 25.6 points or 0.2% to record highs with the S&P 500 index up by 0.2% to record highs and the Nasdaq lifted by 8.7 points or 0.2%. Over the week, the Dow Jones rose by 1.0%, and both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose by 1.4%.
US long-term treasury prices rose slightly on Friday (yields lower). There was no major economic data released and the sharemarket finished only modestly higher. This week US Treasury will sell $94 billion in new debt, including $30 billion in two-year notes on Tuesday, $35 billion in five-year notes on Wednesday and $29 billion in seven-year notes on Thursday. US 2 year yields were flat near 0.46% while US 10 year yields were down by 1 point to 2.61%. Over the week US 2 year yields fell by 1 point and US 10 year yields rose by 1 point.
Major currencies generally eased against the US dollar in European and US trade on Friday. The Euro eased from highs near U$1.3630 to lows near US$1.3565, and closed US trade around US$1.3600. The Aussie dollar eased from highs near US94.10c to lows near US93.75c and ended US trade around US93.85c. And the Japanese yen eased from 101.85 yen per US dollar to JPY102.18, ending US trade near JPY102.06. The Aussie is near US93.70c this morning; Euro US$1.3585.
World oil prices were again mixed on Friday as traders watched developments in Iraq Brent crude fell by US25c or 0.2% to US$114.81 a barrel as traders booked profits. But US Nymex closed higher by US83c or 0.8% on short-covering to a nine-month high of US$107.26 a barrel. Over the week Brent rose by US$1.40 or 1.2% while Nymex rose by just US35c or 0.3%
Base metal prices were mixed on the London Metal Exchange on Friday. Aluminium, nickel and tin fell up to 0.8% and other metals rose up to 1.5% with copper leading the gains. Over the week metals rose up to 4.4% with zinc leading the gains. but tin lost 0.2%. The Comex gold futures quote rose by US$2.50 an ounce or 0.2% to US$1,316.60 per ounce. Over the week gold rose by US$42.50 or 3.3%, the biggest gain in three months. Iron ore rose by US$1.40 a tonne or 1.3% on Friday to US$92.10 a tonne. Over the week, irone ore rose by US$1.20 or 1.3%.
Ahead: In Australia, no major economic data is scheduled. In the US, the ´´flash´´ manufacturing index is released with existing home sales and the national activity index. In China the ´´flash´´ manufacturing index is released.
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