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Wall Street ended Friday’s session in positive territory across the key indices with the S&P500 closing at the highest level for the year, after favourable economic data enhanced signals of a soft landing in the U.S. over a recession. The S&P500 rose 0.41%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.45%, and the Dow Jones lifted 0.36% on Friday, and for the week the key indices each posted gains under 1% to end a 6th straight winning streak higher.
November jobs data out late last week indicated the US economy added 199,000 jobs for the month which beat economists’ expectations, while the November unemployment rate dipped to 3.7% from 3.9% in October; which also topped expectations of a hold at 3.9%. This data indicates the US economy remains resilient and robust against inflation easing in the higher interest rate environment. Consumer sentiment and inflation expectations also showed positive signs in that sentiment hit the highest level since July in the latest reading while inflation expectations continue to ease.
Over in Europe, markets also closed higher on Friday as investors in the region responded to favourable jobs data out of the U.S. and welcomed the resilience in jobs as a sign that the world’s largest economy could avoid recession. The STOXX600 rose 0.7% as travel and leisure stocks rose 1.5%, while Germany’s DAX added 0.78%, the French CAC rose 1.32% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 lifted just over half a percent.
Locally on Friday, the ASX200 rose 0.3% boosted by the energy sector recovering from recent lows to close the day 1.04% higher, while technology and utilities stocks were the only two sectors to end Friday’s session in the red.
The story of the session on Friday drove Santos to a 6.2% rise after the energy giant hit headlines for a proposed merger with fellow energy giant Woodside to create a $52bn energy powerhouse.
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