The ASX 200 jumped 49 points (+1.2%) last week, to close at 4288.
The big four were some of the largest contributors to the index; ANZ (ASX:ANZ) climbed 2.9% while Westpac jumped 3%.
The stronger Aussie dollar hurt the steelmakers. Bluescope Steel plummeted 10.5%, while rival Onesteel was not much better, sinking 8.2%.
The energy sector performed roughly in line with market; Woodside appreciated 1.4% and Santos (ASX:STO) added 0.4%.
Pharmaceutical company, ResMed was one the best performers for the week soaring 9.2% after providing positive guidance for the year ahead.
The retailer were some of the worst performers for the week; David Jones was down 0.4%, Myer tumbled 4.5% and JB Hi-Fi dived 3.4%
Supermarket giant Woolworths backtracked 0.5% for the week.
Economic News: What Does it Mean?
In economic news the Product Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) were released last week.
The PPI for the December quarter showed that input prices rose 0.3% in the final quarter compared to economist expectations of a rise of 0.4%.
On annualised basis, the PPI rose 2.9% from a year earlier.
The CPI was unchanged in the fourth quarter, which was below economist expectations of a 0.2% rise.
The fourth quarter result took the annual rate to 3.1%, below expectations of 3.3% growth.
Trimmed mean CPI, which better measures the underlying trend in inflation, showed a rise of 0.6% in the December quarter, for an annual growth rate of 2.6%.
With core inflation inside the RBA’s 2% – 3% target band, there may be room for it to cut interest rates when it meets on the first Tuesday in February.
In the week ahead, Building Approvals and Trade data is slated for release on Thursday.
Overseas Market and Commodity Wrap:
International markets were mixed, after the release of similarly mixed US economic data and a spate of company earnings reports.
In the US, existing home sales rose by 5% to a 4.61 million annual rate in December, close to the forecasted result of 4.65 million. However GDP data released disappointed, with growth of 2.8% against an expected 3%.
The US markets were mixed; the Dow was down 0.5%, while the broader Nasdaq (+1.1%) and S&P 500 (+0.1%) both recorded gains.
It was a relatively quiet weak on the economic front for Europe, with the region on edge regarding a debt swap deal for Greece.
Among the key European indices, the UK FTSE (+0.1%) and the German DAX (+1.7%) strengthened, whilst the French CAC dropped 0.1%.
Asian markets were stronger despite the closure of Chinese markets due to New Year celebrations. The Nikkei was up 0.9%, while the Hang Seng closed up 2%.
Commodities all preformed solidly, benefiting from the speculation of another round of QE out of the US. Silver (+6.7%) and Zinc (+6.8%) were some of the biggest gainers.
Gold and oil also enjoyed a positive week. Gold jumped 4.1%, while oil put on 1.3%