What the markets looked like this week
After a positive start to 2018, global stock markets sustained the momentum in the week gone by. Majority of the global indices ended in the positive territory. The US markets were the biggest gainers, rising by 2%, on the back of a stable economy and prospects of a good earnings season. US retail sales rose 0.4% in December, the fourth straight monthly gain. The consumer-price index rose 0.1% in December.
The euro firmed up, hitting a three-year high against the dollar after German lawmakers reached an agreement on a blueprint for a ruling coalition between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the opposing Social Democrats. A weaker greenback is expected to boost the profits of the multinational companies in the US.
Also in Europe, the British pound moved to its highest level since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union as reports indicated that Netherlands and Spain want to work toward a “soft” Brexit. Barring Germany, equity markets in France and UK ended on a strong footing.
In the Asian markets, barring the Japanese index, all the others ended in the green in the week gone by. The Indian markets continued to remain on a firm wicket with indices scaling fresh highs. Positive trade in global market and expectation of revival in domestic earnings propelled the markets to record levels. This was the sixth weekly gain in a row for the benchmark.
In the commodity markets, oil prices resumed their climb, trading near three-year highs, as Trump extended temporary waivers on US sanctions against Iran. In cryptocurrencies, the bitcoin spot price rose 2.7% to $13,640. Back home, realty, IT and oil gas led the rally for the week. Only, telecom, auto and power stocks ended in the red.