Scoreboard: Energy jolted

The slump in the oil price saw energy stocks tumble in the US and Europe, while the Australian dollar rose against the greenback in late US trade.

In European economic data, German retail sales rose by 1.9 per cent in real terms in October, above forecasts for a 1.7 per cent gain and compares with the 2.8 per cent fall in September sales.

European shares were largely flat on Friday with gains in the airlines sector offset by falls by energy companies. The FTSEurofirst 300 index was up less than 0.1 per cent, the German Dax lifted for the 12th straight day, up by 0.1 per cent, while the UK FTSE fell by less than 1 point and therefore less than 0.1 per cent. In London trade shares in BHP Billiton fell by 3.2 per cent while Rio Tinto lost 0.6 per cent. 

US sharemarkets ended Friday's shortened trading session largely mixed. As was the case in Europe, the slump in the oil price drove trading with energy stocks and oil services companies falling while airlines soared. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones was up by 0.5 points or less than 0.1 per cent. The S&P 500 index fell by 0.3 per cent while the Nasdaq lifted 4.3 points or 0.1 per cent.  For the week, the Dow rose 0.1 per cent, the S&P rose 0.2 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 1.7 per cent. For November, the Dow rose 2.5 per cent, the S&P lifted 2.5 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 3.5 per cent.

US treasuries rose on Friday (yields lower) with the sharp fall in the oil price sparking deflationary concerns. US 2 year yields fell by 4 points to 0.476 per cent while US 10 year yields fell by eight points to 2.173 per cent. Over the week US 2 year yields fell by 3 points while US 10 year yields fell by 14 points.

Major currencies were mixed against the greenback in European and US trade on Friday. The euro held between $US1.2425 and $US1.2490 and was around US$1.2455 in late US trade. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US84.85c to around US85.35c and was around US85.00c in late US trade. And the Japanese yen weakened from 118.06 yen per US dollar to JPY118.76 and was near JPY118.61 in late US trade.

World oil prices slumped on Friday as OPEC oil nations decided against any change in production quotas. Brent crude fell by $US2.43 or 3.3 per cent to $US70.15 a barrel. The US Nymex crude price fell by $US7.54 or 10.2 per cent to $US66.15 a barrel in the first full official trading session after the OPEC decision. Over the week Brent crude fell by US$10.21 or 12.7 per cent while Nymex slumped by $US10.36 or 13.5 per cent.

Base metal prices fell by up to 3.1 per cent on the London Metal Exchange on Friday. Copper led the declines but the tin price was flat. Over the week base metals slumped by between 1.6-5.5 per cent, with copper leading the declines. Gold fell on Friday with Comex gold futures down by $US21.40 an ounce or 1.8 per cent to $US1,175.20 per ounce. Over the week gold fell by $US22.30 or 1.9 per cent. The spot gold price is $US1,167 this morning after a Swiss referendum to increase gold holdings was rejected. Iron ore rose by US10c to $US69.80 a tonne on Friday and was unchanged over the week.

Ahead: In Australia, the RP-Data/CoreLogic Home Value index is released with the TD Securities inflation gauge, the Performance of Manufacturing index and the ABS Business Indicators publication. In the US, the ISM manufacturing index is released.

InvestSMART FORUM: Come and meet the team

We're loading up the van and going on tour from April to June, with events on the NSW central & north coast, the QLD mid-north coast and in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Come and meet the team and take home simple strategies that you can use to build an investment portfolio to weather any storm. Book your spot here.

Want access to our latest research and new buy ideas?

Start a free 15 day trial and gain access to our research, recommendations and market-beating model portfolios.

Sign up for free

Related Articles