International leaderboards were lit up with green ink on Friday night, with all the major indices around the globe recording gains as investors continued to cheer the Fed’s latest quantitative easing program.
European markets were broadly higher, catching up to the Fed’s announcement, unveiled after Europe’s Thursday close. The Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 1.3% and closed at a 15-month high.
The FTSE added 96 points (+1.6%) to settle at 5916, whilst the French CAC (+2.3%) and German DAX (+1.4%) also enjoyed strong gains.
Stateside, the Dow Jones put on 54 point (+0.4%) to settle at 13593, whilst the broader S&P added 0.8% and the tech-heavy NASDAQ firmed 0.8%.
The US session was heavy with data on economic and business conditions.
Retail sales for August rose 0.9% on the month, matching the median estimate of economists in a Dow Jones Newswires poll. Excluding auto sales, retail sales rose 0.8%, just shy of forecasts.
Industrial production fell 1.2% in August, according to a Federal Reserve report, sharply more than economists expected.
Capacity utilization dropped to 78.2% last month from a downwardly revised 79.2% in July, also a bigger-than-forecast decline.
The Consumer Price Index for August increased 0.6%, which matched forecasts but was the largest one-month increase in the measure of inflation since June 2009. Rising gasoline prices accounted for most of the gain.
Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.1% versus a 0.2% estimate.
Business inventories rose twice as much as economists expected in July, the biggest increase since January, the Commerce Department reported.
Crude oil rose 0.8% to $99.05 a barrel, while gold prices ticked up 0.1% to $1,774.30 an ounce.
The US dollar dropped against the euro to a five-month low but rose against the yen.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of new motor vehicle sales, 11:30am, AEST.