The March quarter ended with further positive US economic data. Personal spending rose by 0.8% in February, and March’s Michigan confidence figure rose to 76.2 from 75.3 to reach the highest level in eleven months.
The Dow rose 66 points on Friday, or 0.5%, but the Nasdaq fell 0.1%, and the S&P 500 gained 0.4% to 1408. The S&P and Nasdaq finished up 12% and 20% respectively for the quarter.
London traders saw book-squaring in base metals on Friday night, with nickel up 3%. The oil markets were relatively quiet, with West Texas up US24c to US$103.02/bbl.
US dollar index was a little weaker at 78.99, while the Aussie dollar was also down 0.2% to US$1.0358. Gold closed up US$8.10 to US$1668.70/oz.
Monday will begin with major regional manufacturing PMI results, starting in Australia and followed by the eurozone, UK, and US Monday night. China then releases its services PMI Tuesday, and the rest follows on Wednesday. HSBC releases its independent Chinese measure on Thursday.
This week in Australia we will see building approvals, the RP Data-Rismark house price index and the TD Securities inflation gauge all due Monday. Tuesday sees retail sales and the RBA rate decision, and Wednesday all eyes will be on the trade balance. Construction PMI coming out Friday.
The ECB will update its monetary policy on Wednesday and the Bank of England will follow on Thursday.
In the US, Tuesday sees the minutes of the last Fed meeting released. We will also see construction spending Monday, factory orders and vehicle sales on Tuesday, ADP private sector jobs numbers out on Wednesday and chain store sales on Thursday. Non-farm payrolls scheduled out Friday.