The ASX climbed 44 points (+1%) last week, to close at 4240.
Lynas was the best performer in the ASX 200, recording a massive 23% gain after upgrading its mineral resource estimate at its Mount Weld Project.
The energy sector performed strongly; Santos (ASX:STO) and Woodside jumped 4.5% and 3.5% respectably, both released strong production numbers.
The retailers also took part in the gains; David Jones (+0.4%), Myer (+3.9%) and JB Hi-Fi (0.84%) all finished in the positive.
However supermarket giant Woolworths underperformed the market, dropping 3%.
Economic News: What Does it Mean?
There was a raft of economic news during the week, with consumer sentiment and jobs data being the most critical.
Consumer sentiment rose 2.4% in January, after it plunged 8.3% in December.
The RBA’s two rate cuts late last year were acknowledged as having a big impact on the turnaround, although the number still fell short of analyst estimates.
Employment data released showed that the jobless rate remained flat at 5.2% in December; economists were expecting the rate to rise to 5.3%.
However the total number of people employed fell 29,300 in December, in contrast to economist expectations of a 10,000 net gain.
The decrease in employment was driven by a drop in part-time employment of 53,700 people, which was offset by an increase in full-time employment of just 24,500 people.
The result increases the likelihood of a rate cut in February by the RBA.
In the week ahead, CPI data is slated for release on Wednesday with an expectation of a 0.2% rise in inflation during the previous quarter.
Overseas Market and Commodity Wrap:
Overseas market collectively rallied last week, as debt fears eased in Europe.
France and Spain held bond auctions at which they saw their borrowing costs fall. For France it was the first auction since S&P downgraded the country’s credit rating.
Some of the best performers in Europe were the UK FTSE (+1.6%), the German DAX (+4.3%) and the French CAC (+3.9%).
US stocks were buoyed by a manufacturing survey that exceeded economist expectations and some stronger-than-expected results from financial giants Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.
The good news help drive the US markets higher; the Dow (+2.4%), Nasdaq (+2.8%) and S&P 500 (+2.0%) all recorded gains.
Closer to home Chinese GDP showed the country growing at 8.9% annual pace in the fourth quarter, beating market expectations of an 8.7% rise.
Asian market took part in the global rally. with the Hang Seng (+4.7%) and Nikkei (+3.1%) both advancing.
Commodities benefited from the strong GDP data out of China; lead (+8.6%) and silver (+7.3%) produced some of the biggest gains.
Gold also enjoyed a solid week, putting on 2%, however oil dropped 0.6% amid easing Middle East supply concerns.