SP 500, Dow finish at records as Santa rally continues


Dollar weakening accelerated

US stock market booked fresh records on Friday as reports of strong US holiday sales and rising profits at Chinese industrial firms buoyed market sentiment. The S&P 500 inched up 0.003% to new record 3240.02, booking 29.25% gain year to date. Dow Jones industrial added 0.08% to 28645. The Nasdaq however slipped 0.17% to 9006.62. The dollar weakening accelerated. The live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, fell 0.6% to 96.98 and is lower currently. Futures on US stock indices pointing to mixed openings.

DAX 30 led European indexes gains

European stock markets ended at record highs on Friday. Both UR/USD and GBP/USD accelerated their climbs on Friday with both pairs gaining currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.2%. The DAX 30 rose 0.3% Friday to 13337.11. France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.1% and UK’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.2% to 7644.90.

FR40 rising above MA(50) 12/30/2019 Market Overview IFC Markets chart

Shanghai Composite Index leads Asian Indexes advances

Asian stock indices are mixed today in subdued trading. Nikkei ended 0.8% lower at 23656.62 as yen’s climbing against the dollar accelerated. China’s markets are rising after a report that 2019 retail sales are forecast to rise 8%: the Shanghai Composite Index is 1.2% higher and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is up 0.6%. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index lost 0.3% with Australian dollar climb against the greenback intact.

Aramco plans listing on Asian exchanges as Brent rises on strong US inventories fall

Brent futures prices are extending gains today. Prices advanced on Friday after the Energy Information Administration reported that US crude supplies fell by above expected 5.467 million barrels last week: Brent for March settlement added 0.2% to $66.87 a barrel Friday. Saudi Aramco shares have fallen back, but are still above the issue price that trading started publicly on December 11. Aramco became the world’s largest corporation, worth just under $2 trillion. Trading in Aramco shares has been active with the company's valuation rising above the $2 trillion sought by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia hopes to raise more cash by listing the shares overseas as well. There are plans to list the shares on an Asian stock market with Tokyo named as the preferred venue ahead of Hong Kong.

Gold strengthening continues with Dollar weakening intact

Gold prices are extending gains today. Prices ended near three month high on Friday as dollar accelerated weakening: February gold added 0.2% to $1518.10 an ounce Friday.

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