The ASX closed the last session of the week down 0.29% at 5460.8 finishing the week almost unchanged with a small rise of 0.05%. The drop was attributed to lower than expected CPI data in China sending worries through the local markets. Further downside pressure came from speculation of what this week’s budget may hold for companies and consumer spending if the toughest budget in decades is delivered as expected.
Overseas we saw the European index’s closely follow APAC’s lead with the majors all closing down around the 0.30% mark while the US session managed to reverse this with the Dow Jones and Nasdaq finishing the week 0.20% and 0.50% respectively.
Gold had its second consecutive weekly fall closing at US$1288.70/oz as investors start to feel more confident in the equity and treasury market on the back of Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s testimony earlier in the week.
WTI Crude Oil also finished the day down 0.27% at US$99.99 per barrel as tensions in the Ukraine eased but we expect to see further volatility during this week’s sessions after further parts of Eastern Ukraine voted for independence from Kiev in a referendum slammed by the West.
The Australian Dollar finished the week higher against most majors. This was due to the better than expected employment figures, now boosting confidence around a sustained jobs market recovery. Also the Strong Chinese trade report help push the Aussie higher. The RBA also released its quarterly monetary policy statement on Friday suggesting that interest rates will remain on hold for the foreseeable future.