Financial Markets Daily

In the currency market

Euro: The euro rose for the fourth day in a row to close at $1.2270, up 0.59%. Technically, the initial resistance to the exchange rate upward is at 1.2297, further resistance is at 1.2326, and key resistance is at 1.2380. The initial support is at 1.2213, further support is at 1.2160, and more critical support is at 1.2130.

Sterling: rose for the fourth day in a row to end at 1.3577, up 0.59%. Technically, the initial resistance is at 1.3642, further resistance is at 1.3698, and the key resistance is at 1.3771. Initial support for the lower exchange rate is at 1.3512, further support at 1.3438, and more critical support at 1.3383.

Yen: Dollar/yen fell for a fifth day, closing down 0.39% at 103.07. Technically, the initial resistance to the exchange rate upward is at 103.44, further resistance is at 103.84, and key resistance is at 104.12. The initial support for the lower exchange rate is at 102.77, further support is at 102.49, and more critical support is at 102.09.

The stock market

After months of negotiations, the good news on Thursday that key congressional leaders were close to a $900 billion bailout deal by Friday lifted all three major U.S. stock indexes to new highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 148.80 points, or 0.49%, at 30303.37. The S&P 500 index closed up 21.30 points, or 0.58%, at 3,722.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 106.60 points, or 0.84%, at 12,764.75. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq set intraday and closing highs, while the Dow set an all-time closing high.

On Thursday December 17th the Bank of England followed the Federal Reserve and left monetary policy unchanged. Traders reacted positively to comments from central banks that they would continue to support the economy, with European shares closing higher, with only the FTSE 100 index in the UK ending lower. The Pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up 1.20 points, or 0.30%, at 397.28. Retail stocks led the way, up 2.1%; Germany’s DAX30 index closed up 101.27 points, or 0.75%, at 13,667.25. Britain’s FTSE 100 index closed down 19.85 points, or 0.30%, at 6,551.06. The CAC-40 index in France closed up 1.78 points, or 0.03%, at 5,549.46. In Europe, the Stoxx 50 index closed up 18.55 points, or 0.52%, at 3,561.55. Spain’s IBEX35 index closed up 18.50 points, or 0.23%, at 8,158.00. Italy’s FTSE MIB index closed up 25.55 points, or 0.12%, at 22,012.

Commodity markets

Spot gold closed at $1,885.27 an ounce, up $20.62, or 1.11 percent, after hitting a one-month high of $1,896.14 an ounce and as low as $1,861.92.

Gold futures for February delivery on COMEX rose 1.7 percent to $1,890.40 an ounce, the highest close since early January.

Two major oil futures extended this week’s gains on Thursday. U.S. WTI crude for January delivery closed up 74 cents, or 1.55 percent, at $48.36 a barrel at press time. Brent Crude for February delivery also closed up 74 cents, or 1.46 percent, at $51.50 a barrel. Earlier, IT closed up 20 cents, or 0.42 percent, at $47.82 a barrel. Cloth oil closed up 32 cents, or 0.63 percent, at $51.08 a barrel.

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