US stocks closed higher on Thursday after the upbeat US price and jobless claims data were released yesterday easing concerns about the strength of the US economy. The core consumer price index (excluding food and energy costs) surprisingly rose 0.2% in September boosting the year-on-year gain to 1.9%, thus improving expectations of the early rate hike by the Fed. The US dollar index, a measure of the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies was up by 0.1% at 94.454 failing to pare the weekly loss of 0.4%. S&P 500 historical prices show that index gained 1.49% yesterday with all its ten sectors being in the black and financials leading the growth. Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.28%. JP Morgan Chase stocks went up by 3.17% rebounding after the drop of the previous day, Pfizer Inc. by 3.15%, Goldman Sachs by 3.04%. Wal Mart Stores lost almost 1.2% during its second day of decline following a weak profit forecast by retailer. Today at 14:15 CET the US industrial production for August will be released, its contraction is expected to slow down by 0.1% to -0.3%. Today at 15:00 CET the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for August will be released, the tentative outlook is positive.
European stocks were on the increase on Thursday after the ECB policy maker Ewald Noworthy raised expectations for further euro easing. Euro STOXX 600 Index was up by 1.43% yesterday. The EURUSD slid down by 0.1% from a 7-week peak on the Noworthy comments. The market participants are awaiting the ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure’s comments later today. Today at 10:00 CET the eurozone September trade balance was released showing the seasonally adjusted surplus contracted by 12% to 19.8bln euros. The eurozone August Consumer Price Index was 0.2% up from July’s 0.0%. The final September Core Consumer Price Index remained at 0.9% year-on-year in line with the market expectations. No more important economic data is expected today from Europe.
Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1% today. The USDJPY exchange rate was up by 0.3% rebounding from the 7-week low. Investors remain cautious anticipating the release of China’s latest economic growth data on Monday.
Gold futures prices settled higher on Thursday for a fifth consecutive session reaching the high of almost four months. The most-traded contract for December delivery added 0.7% totaling $1.187.50 a troy ounce. The rally was due to the three-week slump in the US dollar, the Fed’s reluctance to hike the interest rates in the nearest future and the beginning of the wedding season in India.
Oil prices were mostly falling this week and closed lower on Thursday, down for the fourth day as the US government reported a larger than expected crude stockpile build. The US Energy Information Administration reported crude oil stocks increased by 7.6mln barrels last week, the highest rise in six months, and oil supplies are close to record levels. Oil started to grow once again in Asian trade on Friday on the news that US production is falling which made investors hope for the narrowing global glut of supplies. Additional growth factor was that investors were closing positions at the end of a volatile week. The Brent oil price increased by 1%, the oil product futures were up as well. At 18:00 CET the US rig count by Baker Hughes will be released.