Optimism dominates end of the week
There are some optimistic tones to markets so far Friday. Wall Street closed higher in the previous session and despite caution over interest rates, news that jobless claims fell by more than forecast and today’s consumer sentiment data is expected to be good. Asian markets took their lead from the stronger close in New York and have mostly ended with gains; Tokyo hit a fresh 15-year high; Australia though was weighed down by resources and financial sectors and closed lower. In Europe markets are higher, with US and Asian sentiment boosting indexes. Greece meets with European Parliament officials today and is also expected to repay a chunk of its debt to the IMF.
US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending lower (Brent $56.60, WTI $46.57 at 5.50am ET). Gold is higher.
Producer Price Index at 8.30am ET
Consumer Sentiment at 10.00am ET
Ann Inc., Energy Telecom and Sears Hometown are among the companies reporting results today.
US disappointed as UK applies to join Chinese-backed bank
Despite the ‘special relationship’ between the US and UK there are times, like any friendship, when tensions emerge. The White House has said it is displeased with the decision of the UK to apply to join a Chinese-backed bank modeled on the World Bank with “virtually no consultation” with the US. An unnamed official told the FT that it was not the right way to engage with China.
Global carbon emissions held steady last year
The level of carbon dioxide emissions globally did not rise last year, that’s the first time in 40 years without an economic crisis. The International Energy Agency expressed surprise over the figures but said that changes in China were among the reason. While there have been drops in the emissions during economic crises the global economy grew by 3 per cent last year, making the decline even better news.
US household wealth increased to record high in Q4
The total value of US household wealth increased by 1.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to a report from the Federal Reserve. Higher home values and rising stocks pushed the value to a record $83 trillion. Investment portfolios increased to $742 billion while homes rose to $356 billion. However reports suggest that 80 per cent of the wealth is held by just 10 per cent of the population.
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