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ECB prolongs stimulus program

US stocks rally goes further on

were advancing on Thursday having hit fresh record highs on positive US labour market data and continued rally after victory of Donald Trump. Financials were the top performers having added 0.9%. On the other hand, industrials lost 0.5% on weak performance of defense stocks. US dollar index, a measure of a greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, stood at 101.13 having added 0.4% so far this week. S&P 500 index added 0.12% to 2,244.03. Dow Jones industrial average advanced 0.29% to 19,606.34 while Nasdaq composite rose 0.11% to 5,399.91. All three major indices hit fresh intraday highs. Economic data showed that number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased from 5-month high previous week. Next week the Fed meeting will take place where the interest rates are widely expected to be hiked 0.25%. The markets price in 98% chances of the Fed rate hike this month.

European stocks inched up following ECB stimulus

European stocks inched up on Friday after ECB prolonged its stimulus program on Thursday. On its meeting on Thursday EBC left the interest rates unchanged and decided to reduce the monthly asset buys from the current 80bn to 60bn euros per month since April to December. Thus, the program was extended till the end of 2017 although in reduced volume. This stimulated carry trade operations that imply borrowing at lower rates to invest in high-yielding currencies. EURUSD inched lower to $1.0615 having previously touched the level of $1.0875. European stocks were near 11-month highs after a week of gains. Stocks advanced on Thursday after ECB policy meeting but their advance lost some momentum on Friday. STOXX EUROPE 600 gained 0.6% on Friday while banking sector slid 1.1%. Italian bank Monte dei Paschi lost 1.1% on Friday but gained 10% this week on hopes there is chance to save the bank, maybe even with state aid. According to the Italian newspapers ECB is to decide today whether to approve the request of Monte dei Paschi for extension of the deadline to increase its capital. Meanwhile, UniCredit stocks slid 4%. German DAX 30 index added0.06%, French CAC 40 rose 0.40% while British FTSE 100 edged up 0.11%.

Asian stocks on the rise following Wall Street and gains in oil

Asian stocks mostly closed higher on Friday ending the week with gains. Japanese stocks reached the 12-month high on Friday following Wall Street rally and on strong performance in exporters stocks due to weaker yen. Japanese Nikkei added 1.2% to 18,996.37, its record closing high since December 2015. Previously it topped the 19000 level. The benchmark advanced 3.1% this week in its fifth week of gains. Topix rose 1.8% to 1,525.36. USDJPY advanced 0.4% to 114.44 yen having earlier hit its 10-month high of 114.83 yen. Australia’s stocks rose on Friday in 4th day of winning streak on strong performance of financials and energy stocks. S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.31% to 5,560.6. The benchmark advanced 2.13% this week. In China CSI 300 index added 0.7% to 3,493.70 points while Shanghai Composite index rose 0.5% to 3,232.88. Chinese indices gained ground on positive inflation data which showed economy was stabilizing. Banks and infrastructure were the top performers.

Oil advanced on prospect that non-OPEC countries may agree on oil production cuts

Oil futures prices were on the rise. WTI oil advanced 0.9% to $51.32 a barrel while Brent crude futures added 0.7% to $54.23.

Expensive dollar weighs on gold

Spot gold prices fell to $1,170.03 an ounce to end this week 0.6% lower. Advancing US dollar and anticipation of higher US interest rates weigh on gold prices.

Friday, 09 Dec, 2016 / 2:22

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