Stocks end week higher on trade hopes, GBP gains after strong retail sales print

Summary:

  • Another US government shutdown avoided

  • Trump to declare national emergency to build a Wall

  • GBP jumps on strong retail sales report

  • European and US stocks surge on trade optimism

  • Stock of the week - BB&T Corp

Steep declines seen on the Chinese stock markets during the Asian trading hours did not bode well for the remaining part of the day. However, optimistic remarks coming from China, where US and Chinese negotiators are trying to find solution to trade spat, boosted moods during the European session. Most of the blue chips indices from the region finished today’s trading significantly higher with equities from Germany, Italy and Spain leading gains.

Investors from Wall Street also launched the day in upbeat moods as another shutdown was avoided. However, the US President Donald Trump announced that he will declare national emergency and get funds for Wall on border with Mexico elsewhere. USD held steady amid these developments and a mixed data pack from the US.

British pound is today’s leader among G10 currencies. GBP was supported by better-than-expected retail sales reading for January. Apart from that, Antipodean currencies (AUD and NZD) keep on surging for another day as upbeat remarks spurring from Beijing improve outlook on international trade and commodity markets. On the other hand, EUR is the worst performing major today what can be related to announcement of snap elections in Spain. Turkish lira is the worst performing EM currency following Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s Minister of Finance and Treasury, said that business needs lower interest rates.

Friday has started in mixed moods looking at major cryptocurrencies. The three largest cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple - have experienced some gains, but their scale could be described as moderate. Reports surfaced saying that J. P. Morgan is developing its own cryptocurrency.

A broad recovery can be spotted on the commodity market today. Precious metals are producing decent gains while industrial metals surge. Strong rally can also be spotted on the energy market. On the other hand, some weakness can be observed on the grains market.

We encourage you to take a look at our stock of the week - BB&T Corp.

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Morning wrap
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