Global market finished off the week with modest gains on Friday night as concerns over Syria subsided.
The move on Wall Street came despite rata showing weaker than expected growth in retail sales last month and a fall in consumer confidence to a five month low.
Stocks rose on hopes the Fed will slow its stimulus tapering in light of the weak economic data and as it emerged the US is considering an agreement with Russia that will avert a military strike against Syria.
The Dow climbed 75 points (+0.5%) to 15376, the S&P500 rose five points (+0.3%) to 1688 and the Nasdaq put on six points (+0.2%) to 3722.
All the action has occurred this morning, however, with index futures surging on reports known policy hawk, Larry Summers, has pulled out of the running to replace Ben Bernanke as Fed Chairman.
In the commodity space, oil slipped 0.4% to US$108.21 a barrel on the back of the weak US data and on reports of a deal being struck by the US and Russia over Syria’s chemical weapons, that would avert war.
Gold capped off a horrendous week with another loss, down 1.7% to US$1309 an ounce. The yellow metal sank almost 6% over the week amid uncertainty over the Fed’s stimulus tapering plans.
In currency markets, the US dollar recorded widespread gains on Friday but is being sold off this morning on speculation Summers’ exit has removed the threat of an aggressive scaling back of Fed stimulus.
There is no major economic due for release today.