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Strong Data From the US and Apple Trades Above $600

It’s the end of the week and a possitive one for the equity markets in Europe and the US. On Thursday stocks rallied for a third consecutive day with the Stoxx Europe 600 reaching its highest level since July 2010. The FTSE 100 closed down 0.2%.

In the US data from the jobs market and manufacturing added to optimism that the worlds largest economy is starting to gain some momentum. This morning Goldman Sachs O’Neill said that “..the US housing market is bottoming out,” which are strong words as the global melt down stemmed from the over inflated housing bubble in the US.

Then Yen climbed back from an 11-month low against the dollar after traders positioned themselves that its four-month decline since November has happened to quickly.

In the the commodity markets yesterday WTI Crude had a volatile session as Reuters reported that the UK/US would release reserves to ease supply constraints stemming from Iran. This led to Oil coming off nearly 1% in a matter of minutes, however shortly an aide of Obama’s said that the report of bilateral oil release was inaccurate sending WTI back to its previous bid of 115 ticks higher.

Apple stock price continues to rally higher briefly trading above $600, ahead of the release of its new iPad.

Headlines:                                                                             

Argentina to sue UK Oil groups – CityAM

Paypal to launch credit card reader for smartphones - Wall Street Journal

George Osborne is considering announcing a cut in the 50p top rate of income tax to 45p in his budget next week. - Financial Times

A Standard Chartered banker has been detained by police in China as part of an investigation into a wealthy client who allegedly stole money from a state owned bank - Financial Times

A former banker at the centre of a huge fraud investigation emerged yesterday as the biggest individual British loser from the collapse of MF Global - The Times


Random Fact:

The UK is the worlds largest Champagne importer and that India increased its imports of Champagne last year by 58%. Other emerging economies also showed large increases, with the wealthy in China importing a significant amount of red wine.

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