In US economic data the leading index rose by 0.3 per cent in June, short of the 0.5 per cent forecast gain. The consumer sentiment index eased from 82.5 to 81.3 in July, short of the 83.0 forecast result.
European shares were mixed on Friday with investors focussed on increased tensions between Russia and western nations. The FTSEurofirst 300 index was flat with the German Dax down by 0.4 per cent while the UK FTSE rose by 0.2 per cent. Australia's major miners were mixed in London trade with shares in BHP Billiton up by 0.1 per cent while Rio Tinto lost 0.6 per cent.
US sharemarkets rebounded on Friday with technology stocks leading the gains in response to earnings results. In response to earnings results shares in Google rose by 4.2 per cent but shares in General Electric fell by 0.6 per cent. Thomson Reuters reports "data also showed that of 82 companies in the S&P 500 that had reported earnings through Friday morning, 68.3 per cent beat Wall Street's expectations, roughly in line with the 67 per cent rate for the past four quarters and above the 63 per cent rate since 1994." The Dow Jones index rose by 123 points or 0.7 per cent with the S&P 500 index up by 1.0 per cent while the Nasdaq rose by over 68 points or 1.6 per cent. Over the week the Dow Jones rose by 0.9 per cent with the S&P 500 up by 0.5 per cent while the Nasdaq rose by 0.4 per cent.
US treasury prices were weaker on Friday (yields higher) as investors unwound safe-haven positions, although losses were tempered by soft economic data. US 2-year yields were up by 2 points to 0.484 per cent while US 10-year yields were up by 3 points to 2.48 per cent. Over the week US 2-year yields were up 2 points while US 10-year yields were down by 7 points.
Major currencies were modestly firmer against the US dollar after the close of European and US sessions on Friday. The euro fell from highs near $US1.3535 to around $US1.3490, before rebounding to $US1.3530 at the US close. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US93.60c to highs near US94.05c before ending the US session near US93.95c. And the Japanese yen held between 101.26 yen per US dollar and JPY101.43, ending US trade near JPY101.32.
World oil prices eased on Friday as investors booked profits at the end of the week. Brent crude fell by US65c or 0.6 per cent to $US107.24 a barrel and the US Nymex price fell by US6 cents a barrel or 0.1 per cent to $US103.13 a barrel. Over the week Brent crude rose by US38c or 0.4 per cent with Nymex up by $US2.30 or 2.3 per cent.
Base metal prices fell by up 2.8 per cent on Friday with nickel leading the declines. But lead was unchanged. Over the week metals were mixed with nickel down 3.7 per cent while aluminium rose by 2.3 per cent. Gold prices fell on Friday as safe-haven positions were unwound with the Comex gold futures quote down by $US7.50 or 0.6 per cent to $US1,309.40 per ounce. Over the week gold fell by $US28.00 or 2.1 per cent. Iron ore fell by US90c on Friday or 0.9 per cent to $US96.90 a tonne. Over the week iron ore was unchanged.
Ahead: The futures market is tipping a 22 point rise in the ASX 200 at the open of trade following solid gains on the US sharemarket on Friday. The State of the States report is released. In the US, the National Activity index is issued.