Wall Street ended another week on a high note. The positive finish ensured the third week of record closes for the S&P 500. The S&P closed up 0.4% to 1633 as the Dow rose 35 points, or 0.2% and the Nasdaq added 0.8%.
The Aussie traded below parity for the first time in almost a year. Early Saturday morning it had recovered slightly to sit at US$1.009. Sudden strength in the greenback may well prove beneficial for the Australian economy, but it offers little joy to gold bulls. Gold fell another US$13.70 to US$1443.20/oz on Friday night as the currency/bonds trade played out.
A strong dollar put base metals under pressure, although bellwether copper is still finding technical support after its big plunge a week earlier. Copper rose 0.5% on Friday and the other metals posted mixed results. West Texas losing US50c to US$95.89/bbl.Spot iron ore fell US60c to US$129.60/t.
In the U.S Tonight we see U.S retail sales and business inventories, while Wednesday brings industrial production, housing market sentiment, the PPI and the Empire State manufacturing index. Thursday it�s the CPI, housing starts and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, and Friday sees the Conference Board�s leading index and the Michigan Uni fortnightly consumer sentiment survey.
The eurozone also has some important numbers out this week, including industrial production and the ZEW investor sentiment survey on Tuesday, a revision of first quarter GDP on Wednesday and the trade balance on Thursday. Japan will revise its first quarter GDP on Thursday.
China will release industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment numbers today.
Australia�s economic week features housing finance, investment lending and the NAB business confidence survey today, and vehicle sales and the March quarter wage cost index on Wednesday. The out of cycle earnings reports will continue to flow from Australian corporates this week. Today sees an interim result from Incitec Pivot (IPL) and DuluxGroup (DLX) and Stockland (SGP) will hold an investor day. CSR (CSR), SingTel (SGT) and SP Ausnet (SPN) all provide full-year reports on Wednesday, along with a quarterly update from Paladin Energy (PDN). Graincorp (GNC) reports its interim on Thursday.