International equity markets were mixed on Friday night, as investors weighed the likelihood of US lawmakers reaching an agreement with regard to the budget discussions.
President Obama announced his intent to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, whilst House Speaker, John Boehner, cited a lack of progress. Markets were given a boost by positive US data showing that the jobless rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9% – a near four-year low – as the US economy added 146,000 jobs in the month of November.
The UK’s FTSE climbed 13 points (+0.2%) to settle at 5914 whilst Germany’s DAX fell 17 points (-0.2%) to settle at 7518. France’s CAC added four points (+0.1%) to settle at 3606.
In the US, the Dow Jones rose 81 points (+0.6%) to settle at 13155 whilst the S&P increased 4 points (+0.3%) to settle at 1418. The Nasdaq shed 11 points (-0.4%) to settle at 2978.
In the commodity space, crude oil for January delivery fell $0.33 to settle at $85.93 a barrel after the Bundesbank lowered its 2013 growth forecast from 1.6% to 0.4%.
Gold for February delivery increased by $3.70 (+0.2%) to settle at $1705.50 an ounce on the back of the positive US jobs data. In the currency space, the Japanese yen advanced against its peers after the nation was struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake.
The euro fell against most of its peers after it was reported that members of the ECB are open to interest cuts if the euro area’s economy does not recover. Today will see the release of home loans data (11:30am, AEDT).