USD/CAD pares gains but remains supported after Canadian data

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar pared gains against its Canadian counterpart on Friday, as surging oil prices boosted demand for the commodity-related Canadian currency, although disappointing data from Canada limited its gains.

USD/CAD pulled away from 1.3388, the pair’s highest since January 4, to hit 1.3347 during early U.S. trade, still up 0.21%.

The pair was likely to find support at 1.3250, Thursday’s low and resistance at 1.3423, the high of December 19.

The Canadian dollar found some support as oil prices continued to climb on Friday, a day after the International Energy Agency said that world oil markets are slowly tightening as demand rises.

In its monthly oil market report, the IEA said output cuts announced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 non-OPEC producers in November had "entered their probation period".

But gains were capped as Statistics Canada reported on Friday that retail sales rose 0.2% in November, disappointing expectations for a 0.5% advance.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, inched up 0.1% in November, after a 1.4% gain the previous month and compared to expectations for a 0.2% rise.

A separate report showed that Canada’s consumer price index dropped 0.2% in December, compared to forecasts for a 0.1% decline and after a 0.4% slide in November.

Year-on-year, consumer prices gained 1.5% last month, confounding expectations for a 1.7% rise.

Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, fell by 0.3% in December, more than the expected 0.2% slip.

Meanwhile, investors were focusing on Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony, scheduled later in the day, amid sustained uncertainty over the new U.S. administration’s fiscal and economic policies.

The greenback found support late Thursday when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank should continue to raise interest rates, but slowly.

Speaking at a conference in San Francisco, Yellen said that "allowing the economy to run markedly and persistently ‘hot’ would be risky and unwise," before adding: "I consider it prudent to adjust the stance of monetary policy gradually over time."

The loonie was lower against the euro, with EUR/CAD edging up 0.23% to 1.4235.

U.S. stock index futures higher ahead of Trump inauguration

Investing.com - U.S. stock index futures were higher Friday ahead of President-elect Trump's inauguration.
The Dow futures was up 0.13% at 08:45 ET after the DJI fell overnight.
TheS&P 500 futures added 0.23%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.26%.
Investors will be looking for any clarification of Trump's intended policies on the economic front.
The dollar index recovered from early weakness as U.S. Treasury yields rose.
(NYSE:Procter & Gamble) and (NYSE:General Electric) in focus after earnings reports.

Canada CPI cools in December, missing forecasts

Investing.com – Canadian inflation decreased for a second consecutive month in December, dropping more than expected, according to official data released on Friday.

According to the report from Statistics Canada, consumer price index (CPI) for December dropped 0.2% from the previous month, compared to forecasts for a 0.1% decline and a 0.4% decrease in November.

Year-on-year, CPI advanced 1.5% last month, compared to expectations for a 1.7% rise and November’s reading of a 1.2% gain.

Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, fell by 0.3% in December, compared to expectations for a 0.2% decline and after a prior drop of 0.5%.

Year-on-year, core CPI advanced 1.6% in December. Consensus had expected core inflation to strengthen to 1.7% from the previous reading of 1.5%.

After the report, which was released simultaneously with retail sales data, USD/CAD traded at 1.3381, compared to 1.3344 prior to the release.

Canadian retail sales 0.2% vs. 0.5% forecast

Canadian retail sales rose less-than-expected last month, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, Statistics Canada said that retail sales rose to 0.2%, from 1.2% in the preceding month whose figure was revised up from 1.1%.

Analysts had expected retail sales to rise 0.5% last month.

Canadian consumer price inflation -0.2% vs. -0.1% forecast

Consumer price inflation in Canada fell more-than-expected last month, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, Statistics Canada said that Canadian consumer price inflation fell to -0.2% on a monthly basis and before seasonal adjustment, from -0.4% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected Canadian consumer price inflation to fall -0.1% last month.

Oil up 1% after China GDP data, rig count ahead


Investing.com - Oil rose Friday as Chinese GDP growth beat expectations, with the latest U.S. rig count data on tap.
Brent crude was up 75 cents, or 1.38%, at $54.91 at 07:45 ET. U.S. crude gained 65 cents, or 1.25%, to $52.77.
China's fourth quarter GDP growth came in at 6.8% compared with a forecast of 6.7% boosting expectations of healthy demand for oil.
Official U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose in the latest week when they were forecast to fall.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers have agreed to cut output by some 1.8 million barrels a day in the first half of this year.
The International Energy Agency Thursday said it sees the market tightening in the wake of the cuts.
But it warned that higher prices could encourage increased activity by U.S. shale producers.
Baker Hughes rig count data are due out later in the session.

Dollar remains higher with U.S. inauguration on tap

Investing.com - The dollar remained higher against the other majors currencies on Friday, as markets were eyeing Donald Trump’s inauguration speech, scheduled later in the day.

EUR/USD slid 0.32% to 1.0631, off session highs of 1.0694.

The greenback found support late Thursday when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank should continue to raise interest rates, but slowly.

Speaking at a conference in San Francisco, Yellen said that "allowing the economy to run markedly and persistently ‘hot’ would be risky and unwise," before adding: "I consider it prudent to adjust the stance of monetary policy gradually over time."

But sentiment on the U.S. dollar remained vulnerable ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech amid sustained uncertainty over the new U.S. administration’s fiscal and economic policies.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD declined 0.58% to 1.2272.

The pound weaked broadly after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said on Friday that retail sales declined 1.9% in December, confounding expectations for a 0.1% slip. Retail sales fell 0.1% in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 0.2% rise.

Year-on-year, retail sales increased by 4.3% last month, compared to expectations for a 7.2% climb.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, dropped 2.0% in December, disappointing expectations for a 0.3% fall.

USD/JPY rose 0.29% to 115.19, while USD/CHF gained 0.31% to trade at 1.0088.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.37% at 0.7534 and with NZD/USD retreating 0.65% to 0.7145.

The two currencies had strengthened earlier, after data showed that China’s gross domestic product rose 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, in line with expectations.

Year-on-year, China’s economy grew at a rate of 6.8%, slightly above expectations for a growth rate of 6.7%.

The data eased concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy, although worries surrounding the country’s growing debt persisted.

China is Australia’s biggest export partner and New Zealand’s second biggest export partner.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD gained 0.39% to trade 1.3371, the highest since January 4.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.31% at 101.41, re-approaching Thursday’s one-week high of 101.71.

Procter&Gamble core fiscal Q2 EPS $1.08 vs. estimate $1.06; sales fall slightly short

Investing.com - Procter & Gamble) Friday posted fiscal Q2 earnings above estimates but net sales fell slightly short of forecast.
The U.S. firm's Q2 core EPS came in at $1.08 up 4% yoy on largely flat net sales of $16.86.
Earnings per share were estimated at $1.06 on revenues of $16.94.6 bn.
“We delivered good results in the second quarter in a difficult operating environment,” CEO David Taylor said.
Procter & Gamble shares were up 1.83% at $86.25 in pre-market trade.

Top 5 things to watch today

Investing.com - President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.
Earnings watch continues, disappointing news from blue chips.
China’s growth hits 26-year low, though Q4 GDP provides hope for recovery.
Oil on the rise after China GDP, rig count and monitoring meeting on tap.
Global stocks mixed after China data with Trump on tap.

Crude prices climb as IEA comments still support

Investing.com - U.S. oil moved sharply higher on Friday, despite news of rising U.S. stockpiles last week, as remarks by the International Energy Agency continued to lend support.

U.S. crude futures for March delivery were up 1.04% at $52.68 a barrel, the highest since January 17.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, the March Brent contract jumped 1.13% to trade at $54.77 a barrel.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday that crude oil inventories jumped by 2.347 million barrels in the week ending January 13. Market analysts' had expected a crude-stock draw of 0.342 million barrels

But oil prices remained supported after the IEA said on Thursday that world oil markets are slowly tightening as demand rises.

In its monthly oil market report, the IEA said output cuts announced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 non-OPEC producers in November had "entered their probation period".

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day.

If carried out as planned, the deal should reduce global supply by about 2%.

Market participants were also eyeing Donald Trump’s inauguration speech, scheduled later in the day, amid sustained uncertainty over the new U.S. administration’s fiscal and economic policies.

India stocks lower at close of trade; Nifty 50 down 1.02%

Investing.com – India stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Metals, Public Sector Undertakings and Power sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 lost 1.02%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index fell 1.00%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Idea Cellular Ltd (NS:IDEA), which rose 2.96% or 2.05 points to trade at 71.40 at the close. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel Ltd. (NS:BRTI) added 1.14% or 3.60 points to end at 320.70 and Yes Bank Ltd. (NS:YESB) was up 1.00% or 13.45 points to 1360.95 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were AXIS Bank Ltd. (NS:AXBK), which fell 7.26% or 35.10 points to trade at 448.70 at the close. Adani Ports&Special Economic Zone (NS:APSE) declined 3.76% or 11.10 points to end at 284.25 and Bank Of Baroda (NS:BOB) was down 3.75% or 6.00 points to 154.10.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Bharti Airtel Ltd (BO:BRTI) which rose 1.31% to 320.70, Asian Paints Ltd. (BO:ASPN) which was up 0.60% to settle at 965.80 and ITC Ltd (BO:ITC) which gained 0.59% to close at 255.45.

The worst performers were AXIS Bank Ltd. (BO:AXBK) which was down 6.86% to 450.50 in late trade, Adani Ports&Special Economic Zone (BO:APSE) which lost 3.59% to settle at 284.40 and State Bank Of India (BO:SBI) which was down 2.83% to 251.00 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 1163 to 328 and 63 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1812 fell and 840 advanced, while 177 ended unchanged.

The India Vix, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was up 5.13% to 15.7900.

Gold for February delivery was down 0.21% or 2.55 to $1198.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March rose 1.23% or 0.64 to hit $52.76 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 1.13% or 0.61 to trade at $54.77 a barrel.

USD/INR was up 0.16% to 68.207, while EUR/INR fell 0.15% to 72.5177.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.30% at 101.40.

Dollar erases initial losses vs. rivals, Trump in focus

Investing.com - The dollar erased losses against the other majors currencies on Friday, but gains were expected to remain limited until Donald Trump’s inauguration speech, due later in the day.

EUR/USD slipped 0.18% to 1.0645, off session highs of 1.0694.

The greenback found support late Thursday when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank should continue to raise interest rates, but slowly.

Speaking at a conference in San Francisco, Yellen said that "allowing the economy to run markedly and persistently ‘hot’ would be risky and unwise," before adding: "I consider it prudent to adjust the stance of monetary policy gradually over time."

But sentiment on the U.S. dollar remained vulnerable ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech amid sustained uncertainty over the new U.S. administration’s fiscal and economic policies.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD declined 0.41% to 1.2294.

The pound weaked broadly after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said on Friday that retail sales declined 1.9% in December, confounding expectations for a 0.1% slip. Retail sales fell 0.1% in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 0.2% rise.

Year-on-year, retail sales increased by 4.3% last month, compared to expectations for a 7.2% climb.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, dropped 2.0% in December, disappointing expectations for a 0.3% fall.

USD/JPY edged up 0.17% to 115.07, while USD/CHF added 0.19% to trade at 1.0075.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.42% at 0.7528 and with NZD/USD retreating 0.58% to 0.7150.

The two currencies had strengthened earlier, after data showed that China’s gross domestic product rose 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, in line with expectations.

Year-on-year, China’s economy grew at a rate of 6.8%, slightly above expectations for a growth rate of 6.7%.

The data eased concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy, although worries surrounding the country’s growing debt persisted.

China is Australia’s biggest export partner and New Zealand’s second biggest export partner.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged 0.17% higher to trade 1.3343, just off Thursday’s two-week high of 1.3354.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.21% at 101.30, off lows of 100.83 hit earlier in the session.

Indonesia stocks lower at close of trade; IDX Composite Index down 0.84%

Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Infrastructure, Miscellaneous Industry and Agriculture sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index fell 0.84%.

The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Darma Henwa Tbk (JK:DEWA), which rose 33.33% or 18 points to trade at 72 at the close. Meanwhile, Plaza Indonesia Realty Tbk (JK:PLIN) added 25.00% or 910 points to end at 4550 and Bank Mitraniaga Tbk (JK:NAGA) was up 24.57% or 43 points to 218 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Unggul Indah Cahaya Tbk (JK:UNIC), which fell 18.01% or 490.00 points to trade at 2230.00 at the close. Wahana Pronatural (JK:WAPO) declined 14.93% or 10 points to end at 57 and Tembaga Mulia Semanan Tbk (JK:TBMS) was down 13.38% or 105.00 points to 680.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 204 to 90 and 120 ended unchanged.

Shares in Darma Henwa Tbk (JK:DEWA) rose to 3-years highs; gaining 33.33% or 18 to 72.

Crude oil for March delivery was up 1.15% or 0.60 to $52.72 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 1.07% or 0.58 to hit $54.74 a barrel, while the February Gold contract fell 0.18% or 2.15 to trade at $1199.35 a troy ounce.

USD/IDR was up 0.31% to 13433.0, while AUD/IDR fell 0.05% to 10088.35.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.25% at 101.35.

U.K. retail sales -1.9% vs. -0.1% forecast

Retail sales in the U.K. fell more-than-expected last month, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, U.K. Office for National Statistics said that retail sales fell to -1.9%, from -0.1% in the preceding month whose figure was revised down from 0.2%.

Analysts had expected retail sales to fall -0.1% last month.

European stocks mixed, all eyes on Trump; DAX down 0.08%

Investing.com - European stocks were mixed on Friday, as markets were jittery ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony scheduled later in the day and as investors were still digesting dovish comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.24%, France’s CAC 40 added 0.11%, while Germany’s DAX 30 edged down 0.08%.

Investors remained cautious ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Friday, amid sustained uncertainty over the new U.S. administration’s fiscal and economic policies.

On Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi acknowledged that the growth outlook for the euro area has improved, but reiterated that quantitative easing can be increased if the outlook becomes less favorable.

The comments came after the ECB left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low 0.0%, in line with forecasts, and kept the size of its monthly quantitative easing program at approximately €80 billion.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) and BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) gained 0.08% and 0.32%, while Germany’s Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) jumped 1.46% and 2.15%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) climbed 0.81%. Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) underperformed, slipping 0.15% and 0.29% respectively.

Elsewhere, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (PA:LVMH) edged down 0.29% after the luxury goods group announced plans to buy up to 10% of eyewear group Marcolin.

In London, FTSE 100 slipped 0.12%, weighed by Royal Mail (LON:RMG), whose shares plummeted 2.28% after saying that letter volumes dropped 6% in the nine months to 25 December.

Mining stocks added to losses on the commodity-heavy index. Shares in Anglo American (LON:AAL) retreated 0.88% and BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) lost 1.07%, while rivals Glencore (LON:GLEN) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) tumbled 1.07% and 1.68% respectively.

In the financial sector, stocks were mostly higher as Barclays (LON:BARC) eased up 0.09% and Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) advanced 0.94%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) rallied 1.01%. HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) underperformed however, with shares down 0.19%.

Whitbread (LON:WTB) was one of the top performers on the index, with shares up 1.57% after analysts at Barclays upgraded their rating on the stock to “equal weight”.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady to higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.03% dip, S&P 500 futures showed a 0.15% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.23% rise.

Dollar weakens after Yellen remarks

Investing.com - The dollar weakened Friday after the latest comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on monetary policy.
The dollar index was off 0.21% at 100.89 at 02:30 ET after a low of 100.83.
Yellen denied the Fed was behind the curve in raising U.S. interest rates.
She said gradual hikes in rates were in order to prevent the economy from becoming too "hot."
The greenback fell 0.20% to 114.63 yen as Chinese Q4 annual GDP growth slightly beat forecasts at 6.8%.
The euro recouped losses Thursday after the ECB left its monetary policy on hold.
The single currency was up 0.18% at $1.0684.
The focus now turns to President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday.

German Producer Price Inflation 0.4% vs. 0.4% forecast

Germany’s producer price index rose last month, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, Destatis said that German Producer Price Inflation rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.4%, from 0.3% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected German Producer Price Inflation to rise 0.4% last month.

Taiwan stocks higher at close of trade; Taiwan Weighted up 0.14%

Investing.com – Taiwan stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Paper&Pulp, Optoelectronic and Plastic sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted added 0.14%.

The best performers of the session on the Taiwan Weighted were Huaeng Wire&Ca (TW:1608), which rose 10.00% or 0.83 points to trade at 9.13 at the close. Meanwhile, Pao Lung (TW:1906) added 9.98% or 2.30 points to end at 25.35 and Federal Corp (TW:2102) was up 9.92% or 1.30 points to 14.40 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Li Cheng (TW:4426), which fell 5.94% or 5.30 points to trade at 84.00 at the close. Teapo (TW:2375) declined 3.51% or 0.60 points to end at 16.50 and Cheer Time (TW:3229) was down 3.18% or 0.35 points to 10.65.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by 405 to 331 and 138 ended unchanged.

Shares in Huaeng Wire&Ca (TW:1608) rose to 52-week highs; up 10.00% or 0.83 to 9.13. Shares in Li Cheng (TW:4426) fell to 52-week lows; falling 5.94% or 5.30 to 84.00. Shares in Pao Lung (TW:1906) rose to all time highs; up 9.98% or 2.30 to 25.35. Shares in Cheer Time (TW:3229) fell to 3-years lows; down 3.18% or 0.35 to 10.65.

Crude oil for March delivery was up 0.21% or 0.11 to $52.23 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 0.24% or 0.13 to hit $54.29 a barrel, while the February Gold contract rose 0.47% or 5.65 to trade at $1207.15 a troy ounce.

USD/TWD was down 0.36% to 31.504, while TWD/CNY rose 0.28% to 0.2178.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.15% at 100.95.

Aussie rebounds after China GDP as Asia awaits Trump speech

Investing.com - The Aussie rebounded and the dollar gave up early gains against the yen after a China data suite led by GDP raised regional sentiment in otherwise cautious trade as investors await the inaugural address of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

AUD/USD traded at 0.7583, up 0.29% with China the top trade destination for key commodities from Australia, while USD/JPY changed hands at 114.56, down 0.26%.

China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.8% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, slightly beating expectations by analysts of 6.7% growth for the calendar year, but in line with estimates from the head of China's state planning agency.

The figures likely signaled that China's economic growth is starting to stabilize as it transitions from heavy manufacture to domestic-led consumption.

For the quarter-on-quarter GDP figure the increase of 1.7% as expected. Industrial production gained 6.0%, a tick below the 6.1% rise seen, while retail sales jumped 10.9%, beating the 10.7% increase expected.

Earlier, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that running a "hot" economy for an extended period would be a risk.

"I think that allowing the economy to run markedly and persistently "hot" would be risky and unwise," Yellen said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

While there are no signs as yet that the Fed is behind the curve or the economy is in danger of a sudden surge in inflation, she said, "I consider it prudent to adjust the stance of monetary policy gradually over time."

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.23% to 100.87.

Overnight, the dollar held onto gains against the other majors currencies on Thursday, helped by upbeat U.S. data, although investors remained cautious ahead Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi acknowledged that the growth outlook for the euro area has improved, but reiterated that quantitative easing can be increased if the outlook becomes less favorable.

The comments came after the ECB left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low 0.0%, in line with forecasts, and kept the size of its monthly quantitative easing program at approximately €80 billion.

In the U.S., the Department of Labor said initial jobless claims in the week ending January 14 fell by 15,000 to 234,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 5,000 to 254,000 last week.

In addition, the U.S. Commerce Department said housing starts increased by 11.3% to 1.226 million units last month, beating expectations for a rise to 1.200 million units.

However, building permits unexpectedly decreased by 0.2% to 1.210 million units in December. A separate report showed that the Philly Fed manufacturing index rose to 23.6 last month from 21.5 in November, compared to expectations for a rise to 15.8.

Crude holds gains in Asia after China GDP, Trump, U.S. rig count ahead

Investing.com - Crude gain in Asia held steady on Friday after China GDP figures beat expectations and with the inauguration of Donald Trump at the 45th president of the U.S. ahead likely to set the market tone, while data on U.S. shale drillers will be in focus for the extent of the supply response to higher prices.

Crude oil for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.23% to $52.24 a barrel. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for March delivery was last quoted up 0.20% to $54.29 a barrel.

China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.8% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, slightly beating expectations by analysts of 6.7% growth for the calendar year, but in line with estimates from the head of China's state planning agency.

The figures likely signaled that China's economic growth is starting to stabilize as it transitions from heavy manufacture to domestic-led consumption.

For the quarter-on-quarter GDP figure the increase of 1.7% as expected. Industrial production gained 6.0%, a tick below the 6.1% rise seen, while retail sales jumped 10.9%, beating the 10.7% increase expected.

Earlier, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that running a "hot" economy for an extended period would be a risk.

"I think that allowing the economy to run markedly and persistently "hot" would be risky and unwise," Yellen said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

While there are no signs as yet that the Fed is behind the curve or the economy is in danger of a sudden surge in inflation, she said, "I consider it prudent to adjust the stance of monetary policy gradually over time."

Ahead on Friday comes drilling data from oilfield services firm Baker Hughes that will be closely watched by the market. U.S. oil drillers cut rigs, figure released the previous Friday showed, by 7 rigs to 522.

Overnight, West Texas Intermediate oil pared gains in North American trade on Thursday, after data showed that oil supplies in the U.S. registered an unexpected inventory build.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories jumped by 2.347 million barrels in the week ended January 13. Market analysts' had expected a crude-stock draw of 0.342 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday reported a supply drop of 5.04 million barrels.

Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the key delivery point for NYMEX crude, declined by 1.274 million barrels last week, the EIA said. Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 485.5 million barrels as of last week, according to press release, which the EIA considered to be “near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year”.

The report also showed that gasoline inventories increased by 5.951 million barrels, compared to expectations for a build of 2.023 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 0.968 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a gain of 0.162 million. The data was released one day later than usual due to the holiday last Monday.

The data release came after the monthly oil market report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) showed that world oil markets are slowly tightening as demand rises.

Commercial oil inventories in the major industrialized countries fell for a fourth consecutive month in November, the IEA said, although they remained more than 300 million barrels above the five-year average.

The IEA said output cuts announced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 non-OPEC producers in November had "entered their probation period" and that it was too early to see what level of compliance had been achieved.

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months.

The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%.

A monitoring committee charged with tracking adherence to the global deal is due to meet in Vienna for the first time on January 22.

Chinese GDP 6.8% vs. 6.7% forecast

China’s gross domestic product rose unexpectedly last month, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, National Bureau of Statistics of China said that Chinese GDP rose to an annual rate of 6.8%, from 6.7% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected Chinese GDP to remain unchanged at 6.7% last month.

Crude drifts higher in Asia as China demand data suite awaited

Investing.com - Crude prices drifted higher in Asia ahead of data sets from China covering retail sales, GDP and industrial production that are eyed for demand signals.

Crude oil for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange edged up 0.23% to $52.24 a barrel. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for March delivery was last quoted up 0.04% to $54.20 a barrel.

In China, GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the full-year is due with a 6.7% annual pace seen and a 1.7% increase quarter-on-quarter. As well China reports industrial production with a rise of 6.1% seen year-on-year for December and retail sales up 10.7% year-on-year, a tick down from 10.8% the previous month.

Ahead on Friday comes drilling data from oilfield servies firm Baker Hughes that will be closely watched by the market. U.S. oil drillers cut rigs, figure released the previous Friday showed, by 7 rigs to 522.

Overnight, West Texas Intermediate oil pared gains in North American trade on Thursday, after data showed that oil supplies in the U.S. registered an unexpected inventory build.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories jumped by 2.347 million barrels in the week ended January 13. Market analysts' had expected a crude-stock draw of 0.342 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday reported a supply drop of 5.04 million barrels.

Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the key delivery point for Nymex crude, declined by 1.274 million barrels last week, the EIA said. Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 485.5 million barrels as of last week, according to press release, which the EIA considered to be “near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year”.

The report also showed that gasoline inventories increased by 5.951 million barrels, compared to expectations for a build of 2.023 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 0.968 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a gain of 0.162 million.

The data was released one day later than usual due to the holiday last Monday.

The data release came after the monthly oil market report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) showed that world oil markets are slowly tightening as demand rises.

Commercial oil inventories in the major industrialized countries fell for a fourth consecutive month in November, the IEA said, although they remained more than 300 million barrels above the five-year average.

The IEA said output cuts announced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 non-OPEC producers in November had "entered their probation period" and that it was too early to see what level of compliance had been achieved.

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months.
The deal, if carried out as planned, should reduce global supply by about 2%.

A monitoring committee charged with tracking adherence to the global deal is due to meet in Vienna for the first time on January 22.

Aussie down in Asia as China GDP, retail, industrial data eyed

Investing.com - The Australian dollar trended weaker in Asia on Friday with China growth, retail sales and industrial production ahead expected to set the tone.

AUD/USD traded at 0.7556, down 0.07% with China the top trade destination for key commodities from Australia, while USD/JPY changed hands at 115.08, up 0.19%.

In China, GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the full-year is due with a 6.7% annual pace seen and a 1.7% increase quarter-on-quarter. As well China reports industrial production with a rise of 6.1% seen year-on-year for December and retail sales up 10.7% year-on-year, a tick down from 10.8% the previous month.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted down 0.21% to 101.10.

Overnight, the dollar held onto gains against the other majors currencies on Thursday, helped by upbeat U.S. data, although investors remained cautious ahead Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi acknowledged that the growth outlook for the euro area has improved, but reiterated that quantitative easing can be increased if the outlook becomes less favorable.

The comments came after the ECB left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low 0.0%, in line with forecasts, and kept the size of its monthly quantitative easing program at approximately €80 billion.

In the U.S., the Department of Labor said initial jobless claims in the week ending January 14 fell by 15,000 to 234,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 5,000 to 254,000 last week.

In addition, the U.S. Commerce Department said housing starts increased by 11.3% to 1.226 million units last month, beating expectations for a rise to 1.200 million units.

However, building permits unexpectedly decreased by 0.2% to 1.210 million units in December. A separate report showed that the Philly Fed manufacturing index rose to 23.6 last month from 21.5 in November, compared to expectations for a rise to 15.8.

Mexico stocks lower at close of trade; IPC down 0.21%

Investing.com – Mexico stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Industrials, Materials and Financial Services sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Mexico, the IPC lost 0.21%.

The best performers of the session on the IPC were Grupo Televisa SA (MX:TLVACPO), which rose 2.88% or 2.540 points to trade at 90.610 at the close. Meanwhile, Genomma Lab Internacional SAB De CV (MX:LABB) added 2.02% or 0.390 points to end at 19.650 and Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:BIMBOA) was up 1.59% or 0.730 points to 46.550 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Alsea , S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:ALSEA), which fell 3.50% or 1.810 points to trade at 49.870 at the close. VOLARIS A (MX:VOLARA) declined 3.00% or 0.87 points to end at 28.16 and Arca Continental , S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:AC) was down 2.89% or 3.220 points to 108.330.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Mexico Stock Exchange by 148 to 128 and 8 ended unchanged.

Shares in Alsea, S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:ALSEA) fell to 52-week lows; losing 3.50% or 1.810 to 49.870. Shares in VOLARIS A (MX:VOLARA) fell to 52-week lows; losing 3.00% or 0.87 to 28.16.

Gold for February delivery was down 0.67% or 8.10 to $1204.00 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to hit $52.17 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to trade at $54.18 a barrel.

USD/MXN was down 0.02% to 21.9488, while EUR/MXN fell 0.07% to 23.3983.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.21% at 101.10.

Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.08%

Investing.com – Canada stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Industrials, Materials and Telecoms sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite gained 0.08%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Cameco Corp (TO:CCO), which rose 10.15% or 1.46 points to trade at 15.85 at the close. Meanwhile, Milestone Apartments REIT (TO:MST_u) added 9.87% or 1.94 points to end at 21.60 and Dorel Industries Inc (TO:DIIb) was up 6.05% or 2.15 points to 37.68 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd . (TO:WFT), which fell 3.56% or 1.66 points to trade at 44.91 at the close. Canfor Corporation (TO:CFP) declined 3.23% or 0.48 points to end at 14.36 and Klondex Mines Ltd. (TO:KDX) was down 2.91% or 0.200 points to 6.680.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 593 to 549 and 142 ended unchanged.

Shares in Milestone Apartments REIT (TO:MST_u) rose to all time highs; gaining 9.87% or 1.94 to 21.60.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was up 4.52% to 13.18.

Gold for February delivery was down 0.62% or 7.50 to $1204.60 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.65% or 0.33 to hit $51.41 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 0.57% or 0.31 to trade at $54.23 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.33% to 0.7510, while CAD/EUR fell 0.63% to 0.7043.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.20% at 101.11.

U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.33%

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Utilities, Oil&Gas and Basic Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.33% to hit a new 1-month low, while the S&P 500 index fell 0.30%, and the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.22%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), which rose 0.90% or 1.42 points to trade at 159.74 at the close. Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) added 0.50% or 0.79 points to end at 158.53 and Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) was up 0.26% or 0.24 points to 93.57 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), which fell 1.73% or 1.49 points to trade at 84.79 at the close. Merck&Company Inc (NYSE:MRK) declined 1.63% or 0.99 points to end at 60.17 and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) was down 1.20% or 2.80 points to 231.49.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) which rose 22.17% to 45.05, Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) which was up 4.56% to settle at 139.34 and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) which gained 4.16% to close at 114.54.

The worst performers were Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) which was down 5.73% to 6.580 in late trade, Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) which lost 3.84% to settle at 21.01 and JB Hunt Transport Services Inc (NASDAQ:JBHT) which was down 3.71% to 94.39 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Delta Technology Holding Ltd (NASDAQ:DELT) which rose 148.58% to 2.1500, NF Energy Saving Corporation (NASDAQ:NFEC) which was up 48.05% to settle at 1.3400 and Bioanalytical Systems Inc (NASDAQ:BASI) which gained 35.60% to close at 0.951.

The worst performers were DryShips Inc (NASDAQ:DRYS) which was down 34.28% to 1.04 in late trade, Amedica Corp (NASDAQ:AMDA) which lost 31.37% to settle at 0.435 and Delcath Systems Inc (NASDAQ:DCTH) which was down 23.91% to 0.3115 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 2288 to 842 and 68 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1751 fell and 719 advanced, while 111 ended unchanged.

Shares in CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) rose to all time highs; gaining 22.17% or 8.18 to 45.05. Shares in Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) rose to all time highs; rising 4.56% or 6.08 to 139.34. Shares in Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 4.16% or 4.57 to 114.54. Shares in Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) rose to all time highs; rising 0.90% or 1.42 to 159.74. Shares in DryShips Inc (NASDAQ:DRYS) fell to 5-year lows; falling 34.28% or 0.55 to 1.04. Shares in Amedica Corp (NASDAQ:AMDA) fell to all time lows; down 31.37% or 0.199 to 0.435. Shares in Delcath Systems Inc (NASDAQ:DCTH) fell to all time lows; falling 23.91% or 0.0979 to 0.3115.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 4.89% to 13.09.

Gold for February delivery was down 0.60% or 7.25 to $1204.85 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.59% or 0.30 to hit $51.38 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 0.52% or 0.28 to trade at $54.20 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.25% to 1.0657, while USD/JPY rose 0.16% to 114.84.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.15% at 101.16.

Portugal stocks lower at close of trade; PSI 20 down 0.55%

Investing.com – Portugal stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Utilities, Financials and Basic Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lisbon, the PSI 20 fell 0.55%.

The best performers of the session on the PSI 20 were Sonae (LS:YSO), which rose 2.34% or 0.0200 points to trade at 0.8750 at the close. Meanwhile, Mota Engil (LS:MOTA) added 1.73% or 0.0280 points to end at 1.6490 and Sonae Capital (LS:SONAC) was up 1.27% or 0.0090 points to 0.7150 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Banco Comercial Portugues (LS:BCP), which fell 11.37% or 0.0183 points to trade at 0.1427 at the close. Nos SGPS SA (LS:NOS) declined 1.13% or 0.0600 points to end at 5.2600 and EDP (LS:EDP) was down 1.10% or 0.0310 points to 2.8000.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lisbon Stock Exchange by 18 to 11 and 9 ended unchanged.

Brent oil for March delivery was up 0.26% or 0.14 to $54.06 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.22% or 0.11 to hit $51.19 a barrel, while the February Gold contract fell 1.08% or 13.15 to trade at $1198.95 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.08% to 1.0622, while EUR/GBP fell 0.32% to 0.8643.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.20% at 101.51.

Spain stocks lower at close of trade; IBEX 35 down 0.08%

Investing.com – Spain stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Building&Construction, Chemical, Petroleum&Plastic and Telecoms&IT sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 declined 0.08%.

The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were Grifols SA (MC:GRLS), which rose 3.83% or 0.730 points to trade at 19.800 at the close. Meanwhile, Melia Hotels (MC:MEL) added 3.69% or 0.400 points to end at 11.240 and B. Sabadell (MC:SABE) was up 2.43% or 0.032 points to 1.348 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Mapfre (MC:MAP), which fell 2.07% or 0.058 points to trade at 2.746 at the close. Enagas (MC:ENAG) declined 1.75% or 0.420 points to end at 23.590 and Arcel. Mittal (MC:MTS) was down 1.63% or 0.126 points to 7.608.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 94 to 66 and 20 ended unchanged.

Gold for February delivery was down 1.13% or 13.70 to $1198.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.20% or 0.10 to hit $51.18 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 0.26% or 0.14 to trade at $54.06 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.13% to 1.0616, while EUR/GBP fell 0.36% to 0.8640.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.24% at 101.55.

Netherlands stocks lower at close of trade; AEX down 0.02%

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Technology and Basic Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX lost 0.02%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV (AS:AD), which rose 5.92% or 1.16 points to trade at 20.68 at the close. Meanwhile, Altice NV (AS:ATCA) added 2.08% or 0.39 points to end at 18.93 and Aegon (AS:AEGN) was up 1.13% or 0.056 points to 5.014 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Gemalto (AS:GTO), which fell 3.29% or 1.81 points to trade at 53.14 at the close. Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG) declined 2.28% or 1.460 points to end at 62.500 and SBM Offshore (AS:SBMO) was down 1.93% or 0.28 points to 14.48.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 64 to 62 and 10 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 1.64% to 13.69.

Crude oil for February delivery was up 0.20% or 0.10 to $51.18 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 0.26% or 0.14 to hit $54.06 a barrel, while the February Gold contract fell 1.13% or 13.65 to trade at $1198.45 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.12% to 1.0617, while EUR/GBP fell 0.39% to 0.8637.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.24% at 101.55.

Finland stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 up 0.76%

Investing.com – Finland stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Basic Materials and Consumer Goods sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 gained 0.76%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Outotec Oyj (HE:OTE1V), which rose 3.26% or 0.165 points to trade at 5.220 at the close. Meanwhile, Stora Enso Oyj R (HE:STERV) added 3.00% or 0.310 points to end at 10.660 and Neste Oil Oyj (HE:NESTE) was up 2.86% or 0.95 points to 34.22 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Huhtamaki Oyj (HE:HUH1V), which fell 0.76% or 0.26 points to trade at 33.90 at the close. Telia Company AB (HE:TELIA1) declined 0.57% or 0.022 points to end at 3.840 and Amer Sports Corporation (HE:AMEAS) was down 0.55% or 0.14 points to 25.09.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 82 to 58 and 11 ended unchanged.

Shares in Stora Enso Oyj R (HE:STERV) rose to 52-week highs; rising 3.00% or 0.310 to 10.660.

Brent oil for March delivery was up 0.19% or 0.10 to $54.02 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.08% or 0.04 to hit $51.12 a barrel, while the February Gold contract fell 1.04% or 12.65 to trade at $1199.45 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.03% to 1.0627, while EUR/GBP fell 0.37% to 0.8639.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.15% at 101.46.

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