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Bulls Keep Charging Ahead In US Market

The ASX is looking at a solid half a per cent gain at the opening later this morning after a 30 point gain on the ASX 200 futures market on Friday night.

That was after Eurozone shares rose 0.5% on Friday and the US S&P 500 ended up 1.2% helped by more good earnings news. But the gains came despite more confusion from the Trump administration about its US dollar policy - soft or hard?

Global share markets were mixed last week with US shares up 2.2% to a record high, Chinese shares also up 2.2% and Australian shares were up 0.7% at last Thursday’s close ahead of the Australian day long weekend.

However, European shares fell 0.2% and Japanese shares ended down 0.7% on a further rises in the value of the Euro and Yen thanks to another week of loses by the US dollar.

Regardless of all the political talk around it, the greenback fell around 1.7% over the week and which helped send most commodity prices higher, and the Australian dollar which rose back above 81 US cents, ending at 81.10.

Wall Street ended at another record high close early Saturday, our time, with the S&P 500 chalking up its biggest one-day move in just over 10 months.

The index was strong through the session and closed 1.2% higher to 2,872.87.

It was the benchmark’s biggest one-day percentage move since March 1 last year when it climbed 1.4% according to FactSet data.

That gain left the index up 2.25% for the week, the best weekly performance since early December 2016 and up 7.5% so far in January.

That will be its best month since October 2015 if the gains are sustained to Wednesday’s close, according to FactSet data.

The Dow added 0.9% to 26,616.71, for a 2.1% gain for the week and the Nasdaq Composite rose nearly 1.3% to 7,505.77 and was up 2.3% over the week..

The top-performing stocks in the S&P 500 on Friday were pharmaceuticals group AbbVie, up 13.8%, and chipmaker Intel, up 10.6%, after both companies delivered a strong set of quarterly results.

Worst off was Wynn Resorts following a media report alleging sexual misconduct by the casino company’s founder and chief executive Steve Wynn. The shares fell more than 10%.

All main stock indexes rose despite the first estimate of US 4th quarter GDP falling short of expectations. GDP rose by an annual 2.6% against market forecasts for a 3% gain and a 3.2% rate in the three months to September.

View More Articles By Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.



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