MARKET REVIEW

Italy on path to rejecting reform referendum, PM Renzi to speak later

Investing.com - Italy has apparently rejected a constitutional reform referendum, Reuters reports early in Asia on Monday, handing Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi a major defeat and sending the euro lower as the latest populist wave is expected to claim his government.

Renzi has said he would resign if Italians rejected his plan to reduce the role of the upper house Senate and claw back powers from regional authorities. He is due to address the nation at around midnight (2300 GMT), Reuters said.

Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: December 5 - 9

Investing.com - Gold prices rose on Friday, moving higher for the first time in four sessions despite a solid U.S. jobs report as the dollar slid, helping support demand for the precious metal.

Gold for February delivery settled up 0.82% at $1,179.00 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices hit lows of $1,160.00 a troy ounce on Thursday, their weakest level since February.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November from the prior month, while the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, its lowest level in nine years.

Economists had forecast nonfarm payrolls rising by 175,000 last month and the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 4.9%.

However, the report also showed that average hourly earnings fell 0.1% from October, while the annual rate of wage growth slowed to 2.5% from 2.8% in October.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.27% to 100.75 late Friday, helping support gold prices.

The jobs report underlined the Fed’s case for a rate hikes at its upcoming meeting on December 13-14, but the weak wage data clouded the outlook for further rate hikes in 2017.

Investors are currently pricing in a 100% chance of a rate hike this month, according to federal funds futures tracked Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Investors see a 93.9% chance of a follow up rate increase in February.

Expectations of tighter monetary policy tend to weigh on gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver for March delivery was up 1.74% at $16.79 a troy ounce, while copper for March delivery settled at $2.63 a pound.

In the week ahead, markets will be paying close attention to speeches by Fed officials and U.S. data on non-manufacturing activity and consumer confidence going into the holiday period.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, December 5

The U.K. is to release data on service sector activity.

The Institute for Supply Management is to release its non-manufacturing PMI.

New York Fed President William Dudley is to speak about the macroeconomic outlook in New York.

St. Louis Fed head James Bullard is to speak at an event in Arizona.

Tuesday, December 6

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a policy statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

In the euro zone, Germany is to report on factory orders.

Canada is to produce a report on the trade balance.

The U.S. is also to release trade data, along with reports on nonfarm productivity and factory orders.

Wednesday, December 7

Australia is to release data on third quarter economic growth.

The U.K. is to release industry data on house price inflation, as well as official figures on manufacturing and industrial production.

The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and release its latest policy statement.

Thursday, December 8

Both China and Australia are to release trade data.

The European Central Bank is to announce its latest monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference with President Mario Draghi.

Canada is to produce reports building permits and new house price inflation.

The U.S. is to release the weekly report on jobless claims.

Friday, December 9

China is to release data on consumer and producer price inflation.

The U.S. is to round up the week with a preliminary reading on consumer sentiment for December from the University of Michigan.

Saudi Arabia stocks higher at close of trade; Tadawul All Share up 0.52%

Investing.com – Saudi Arabia stocks were higher after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Insurance, Cement and Retail sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share added 0.52% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were Saudi United Cooperative Insurance (SE:8060), which rose 10.03% or 1.80 points to trade at 19.75 at the close. Meanwhile, Saudi Chemical Company (SE:2230) added 7.43% or 2.80 points to end at 40.50 and Trade Union Cooperative Insurance (SE:8170) was up 5.69% or 0.80 points to 14.85 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ash-Sharqiyah Development Company (SE:6060), which fell 3.49% or 1.60 points to trade at 44.30 at the close. National Medical Care Company (SE:4005) declined 1.87% or 1.25 points to end at 65.50 and Saudi Arabia Refineries Co. (SE:2030) was down 1.73% or 0.70 points to 39.80.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 112 to 40 and 17 ended unchanged.

Shares in Saudi United Cooperative Insurance (SE:8060) rose to 52-week highs; rising 10.03% or 1.80 to 19.75.

Crude oil for January delivery was up 1.23% or 0.63 to $51.69 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in February rose 0.91% or 0.49 to hit $54.43 a barrel, while the February Gold contract rose 0.82% or 9.60 to trade at $1179.00 a troy ounce.

EUR/SAR was up 0.10% to 4.0025, while USD/SAR rose 0.06% to 3.7536.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.27% at 100.75.

The Week Ahead: 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

Investing.com - In the week ahead, central bank policy decisions will dominate the economic calendar, in a week that is light on major economic reports.

In the U.S., three Federal Reserve officials are due to speak, and their comments will be closely watched ahead of the upcoming Fed meeting on December 13-14.

The U.S. is also to release data from the ISM on service sector activity, as well as a report on consumer sentiment.

Investing.com has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

1. European Central Bank meeting

The ECB is to hold its final monetary policy meeting of 2016 on Thursday.

Analysts are not expecting to see any further changes to policy, but the banks post-policy meeting press conference with President Mario Draghi will be closely watched for indications that the ECB is considering extending its bond purchasing program beyond March of next year.

2. New York Fed head William Dudley to speak

NY Fed President William Dudley is to speak about the macroeconomic outlook on Monday in New York.

This speech is to be followed by speeches from Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and St. Louis Fed head James Bullard.

Market watchers will be paying close attention ahead of the Fed’s keenly anticipated policy announcement following its December 13-14th meeting.

3. U.S. non-manufacturing data

The Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release its non-manufacturing PMI for November at 1000AM ET (1500GMT) Monday.

The index is expected to tick up to 55.4 from October's 54.8.

Also to watch in the U.S. next week is Friday’s preliminary reading on consumer sentiment for December from the University of Michigan.

4. Bank of Canada meeting

The BoC is expected to hold rates steady at its meeting on Wednesday after data on Friday showing that the economy added 10,700 jobs in November and the jobless rate fell to 6.8%.

In October, the bank kept rates unchanged but said that it had actively considered cutting for the third time in two years.

5. Reserve Bank of Australia meeting

The RBA is expected to keep interest rates on hold at record lows of 1.5% at its meeting on Tuesday, despite recent mixed economic reports.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s data on third quarter growth is expected to show that the rate of growth slowed slightly.

Gross domestic product is expected to have grown by 0.3% in the three months to September, after expanding by 0.5% during the second quarter. Annual growth is expected to come in at 2.5%, down from 3.3% in the second quarter.

Stay up-to-date on all of this week's economic events by visiting: http://www.investing.com/economic-calendar/

Vice President-Elect Pence details Trump tax cuts

Investing.com - Vice President-elect Mike Pence said the incoming Trump administration will make tax and healthcare reform top priorities next year. Tax reform will be accomplished within the president's first 200 days in office. The new term starts on Jan. 20 at 12 p.m. Eastern.

“I think the only thing that will surprise voters is that Washington, D.C. is going to get an awful lot done in a short period of time,” Pence told reporters at a rally in Cincinnati last night. "I'm telling everyone to buckle up."

Pence said Trump is quite eager to repeal and replace ObamaCare, during his first 100 days as president.

“We want to free up the pent-up energy in the American economy,” Pence said.

Pence added that Trump’s tax strategies include lowering marginal rates, reducing the corporate rate to 15% and repatriating corporate cash located overseas, as well as lowering personal income taxes for middle income earners. There is no word on capital gains cuts, but it is known that Republicans want to make overall taxes equal to or lower than Hong Kong and other capital havens.

CFTC: Speculators More Bearish on S&P 500, Sterling; More Bullish on Crude Oil

Investing.com - The Commodity Futures Trading Commission released its weekly Commitments of Traders report for the week ending November 29 on Friday.

Speculative positioning in the CME and ICE currency, commodity, energy and index futures:

Long Short
Net Prior Change Gross Change Gross Change
EUR -119.2k -119.3k 0.1k 136.1k 9.0k 255.3k 8.9k
GBP -78.1k -74.3k -3.8k 50.8k -3.4k 128.9k 0.4k
JPY -0.3k 10.9k -11.2k 72.1k 0.9k 72.4k 12.1k
CHF -24.3k -22.9k -1.4k 13.0k 3.5k 37.4k 4.9k
CAD -18.6k -17.5k -1.1k 25.0k -3.3k 43.6k -2.1k
AUD 21.0k 30.7k -9.7k 54.8k -8.7k 33.8k 1.1k
NZD -1.9k -0.5k -1.3k 30.2k -1.5k 32.1k -0.2k
MXN -54.5k -48.3k -6.2k 19.3k -0.6k 73.8k 5.6k
S&P -139.3k -70.4k -68.8k 459.5k -4.2k 598.8k 64.6k
Gold 151.6k 167.1k -15.5k 229.7k -11.9k 78.2k 3.6k
Silver 59.0k 60.2k -1.1k 79.5k -2.4k 20.4k -1.2k
Copper 53.4k 46.3k 7.0k 121.1k 3.0k 67.7k -4.1k
RUB 22.0k 21.9k 0.1k 22.0k 0.1k 0.0k 0.0k
Oil 287.9k 276.3k 11.6k 551.7k -8.9k 263.8k -20.4k

Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.17%

Investing.com – Canada stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Materials, Healthcare and Consumer Staples sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite added 0.17%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were First Majestic Silver Corp. (TO:FR), which rose 10.21% or 1.21 points to trade at 13.06 at the close. Meanwhile, Detour Gold Corporation (TO:DGC) added 9.63% or 1.58 points to end at 17.99 and Pan American Silver Corp (TO:PAA) was up 7.74% or 1.71 points to 23.80 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc . (TO:RBA), which fell 3.74% or 1.930 points to trade at 49.610 at the close. PrairieSky Royalty Ltd (TO:PSK) declined 3.69% or 1.25 points to end at 32.61 and DH Corp (TO:DH) was down 3.01% or 0.57 points to 18.35.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 611 to 517 and 163 ended unchanged.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was down 7.95% to 11.81.

Gold for February delivery was up 0.68% or 7.90 to $1177.30 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 1.06% or 0.54 to hit $51.60 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.80% or 0.43 to trade at $54.37 a barrel.

CAD/USD was up 0.29% to 0.7530, while CAD/EUR rose 0.18% to 0.7057.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.28% at 100.74.

Colombia stocks higher at close of trade; COLCAP up 0.71%

Investing.com – Colombia stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Investment, Financials and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP rose 0.71%.

The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Almacenes Exito SA (CN:IMI), which rose 1.82% or 260.0 points to trade at 14540.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Avianca Holdings Pf (CN:AVT_p) added 1.49% or 40.0 points to end at 2720.0 and Bancolombia Pf (CN:BIC_p1) was up 1.44% or 380.0 points to 26700.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Banco De Bogota SA (CN:BBO), which fell 3.02% or 1860.0 points to trade at 59760.0 at the close. Grupoaval (CN:GAA) declined 0.43% or 5.0 points to end at 1160.0 and Bcolombia (CN:BIC) was 0.00% or 0.0 points to 24880.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 20 to 5 and 5 ended unchanged.

US coffee C for March delivery was up 0.48% or 0.70 to $145.82 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in March rose 0.44% or 10.50 to hit $2400.50 , while the February Gold contract rose 0.64% or 7.45 to trade at $1176.85 a troy ounce.

USD/COP was unchanged 0.00% to 3074.00, while BRL/COP fell 0.20% to 883.66.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.22% at 100.80.

Trump poised to announce Supreme Court pick

Investing.com - President-elect Donald Trump told a national TV audience last night in the U.S. that he is poised to pick his first nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. In an interview with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel, after his speech in Cincinnati last evening, Trump, a former business executive, billionaire, and reality TV star, who stunned the world with his come-from-behind election win in the U.S. last month, said he had narrowed his choices to "three names -- from the list."

During the presidential campaign, Trump had named more than 20 possible, conservative legal scholars as likely candidates for the Supreme Court the U.S. The Supreme Court is one of three branches of government in the U.S. Constitution's separation of power scheme, including the judicial, the legislative and the executive branch. The president picks nominees for the court, and the Congress vets them, and approves, or disapproves, of the nominations.

Trump has been working with The Federalist Society, a conservative legal scholars group on developing the list of nominees during the last year.

The Supreme Court can rule on laws that impact the economy, civil rights, as well as other legal issues, in the U.S.

The court pick by Trump will be moved on during the historic first 100 days in office, a time of action on agenda items for new U.S. presidents, going back to the New Deal/Great Depression Era.

Leading contenders for the position include William Pryor of Arkansas. Pryor is the son of a former U.S. Senator, a conservative Democrat, David Pryor, and is currently on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and who is a graduate of Tulane University School of Law, and Diane Sykes,a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, who is a graduate of Marquette University School of Law. The opening of the position on the Supreme Court is due to the unexpected death, while at a hunting lodge, earlier this year of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia's death was discussed in a leaked e-mail by John Podesta from the Hillary Clinton for President campaign released by WikiLeaks, and an opaque reference was made by the senior Clinton confidante to "wet works" related to the justice's death.

Dollar down on mixed economic news

Investing.com - The dollar declined Friday as a dip in U.S. wages in the Labor Department’s November jobs report confounded forex traders. The dollar closed at 1.0667 versus the euro. On Thursday, the figure was 1.0661.

The US Dollar Index was down during the trading day 0.3% to 91.30.The dollar dropped against the yen, but stayed steady against the pound and the euro.

The U.S. Labor Department reported non-farm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 178,000 last month from October, whilst the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, its lowest level in nearly a decade.

Average hourly earnings fell 0.1% from October, while year-over-year wage growth slowed to 2.5% from 2.8% growth in October, according to the federal labor department report, released this morning.

But market sentiment concentrated the surprising monthly decline in private-sector wages, driving the greenback lower against the USD/JPY, the GBP/USD, and the EUR/USD.

The yen had been falling, by as much as 8%, against the dollar, during the previous two weeks, in the wake of the U.S. presidential election, which saw Donald Trump, the Republican populist, defeat Democratic insider and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton and a proxy had called for a recount of the vote in the state of Wisconsin, and the former First Lady is said to have gained one vote as a result of that very controversial endeavor.

Gold price closes higher on Friday

Investing.com - Gold prices fluctuated Friday morning, gaining and and losing nine dollars an ounce during morning trading, as investors dissected the latest U.S. economic indicators.

The precious metal settled at 1179.20, or up 9.8, today.

The price of gold for delivery in February was at one point this morning up 0.7% at $1,177.70 a troy ounce, but also dropped as low as $1,168.40 per troy ounce.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, its lowest level in nearly a decade, while non-farm payrolls rose by 178,000. Economists had expected 180,000 new jobs and a jobless rate of 4.9% in November. There are still some 90 million Americans who are not in the U.S. workforce, however, due to structural changes over the last decade in the U.S. economy. President-elect Donald Trump has said that he believed, during the campaign this summer and fall, that unemployment in the U.S. was actually closer to 25% if those who are dispirited and no longer looking for a job, not retirees, were included in the unemployment figures. Backing up this line of analytical thinking is a figure from the unemployment report of this month that indicates more than 400,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force last month.

Earnings for private sector, non-government employees, also, surprisingly, declined last month in the U.S.

Many investors believe that today's new economic reports will prompt the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C. to tighten monetary policy. These expectations for higher interest rates have weighed heavily on gold, which competes with yield-bearing investments like bonds.

Denmark stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 down 0.10%

Investing.com – Denmark stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Technology and Software&Computer Services sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 fell 0.10%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were Lundbeck A/S (CO:LUN), which rose 1.70% or 4.5 points to trade at 268.6 at the close. Meanwhile, Novo Nordisk A/S B (CO:NOVOb) added 0.72% or 1.7 points to end at 237.6 and Danske Bank A/S (CO:DANSKE) was up 0.49% or 1.0 points to 205.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CO:VWS), which fell 2.84% or 12.8 points to trade at 437.5 at the close. Novozymes A/S B (CO:NZYMb) declined 2.00% or 4.7 points to end at 230.6 and FLSmidth&Co. (CO:FLS) was down 1.42% or 4.1 points to 284.8.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 97 to 49 and 17 ended unchanged.

Shares in Novozymes A/S B (CO:NZYMb) fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.00% or 4.7 to 230.6.

Crude oil for January delivery was up 0.59% or 0.30 to $51.36 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in February rose 0.28% or 0.15 to hit $54.09 a barrel, while the February Gold contract rose 0.78% or 9.15 to trade at $1178.55 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was down 0.12% to 6.9702, while EUR/DKK rose 0.02% to 7.4391.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.23% at 100.79.

France stocks lower at close of trade; CAC 40 down 0.70%

Investing.com – France stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Technology, Financials and Consumer Services sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 declined 0.70%, while the SBF 120 index fell 0.75%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Klepierre (PA:LOIM), which rose 1.65% or 0.57 points to trade at 35.12 at the close. Meanwhile, Technip (PA:TECF) added 1.00% or 0.66 points to end at 66.91 and Unibail Rodamco SE (AS:UNBP) was up 0.88% or 1.80 points to 205.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were BNP Paribas SA (PA:BNPP), which fell 2.34% or 1.31 points to trade at 54.59 at the close. Vivendi SA (PA:VIV) declined 2.06% or 0.37 points to end at 17.62 and Bouygues SA (PA:BOUY) was down 1.94% or 0.62 points to 31.57.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Maurel Et Prom (PA:MAUP) which rose 2.68% to 4.220, Klepierre (PA:LOIM) which was up 1.65% to settle at 35.12 and CGG SA (PA:GEPH) which gained 1.44% to close at 14.1100.

The worst performers were Neopost (PA:NPOS) which was down 6.17% to 26.62 in late trade, Edenred (PA:EDEN) which lost 3.72% to settle at 19.16 and Numericable SFR SA (PA:SFRGR) which was down 3.50% to 22.590 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 438 to 250 and 108 ended unchanged.

Shares in Technip (PA:TECF) rose to 52-week highs; rising 1.00% or 0.66 to 66.91. Shares in Maurel Et Prom (PA:MAUP) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 2.68% or 0.110 to 4.220.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 0.92% to 21.07.

Gold for February delivery was up 0.79% or 9.25 to $1178.65 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 0.59% or 0.30 to hit $51.36 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.26% or 0.14 to trade at $54.08 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.13% to 1.0673, while EUR/GBP fell 0.58% to 0.8419.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.23% at 100.79.

Russia stocks higher at close of trade; MICEX up 0.34%

Investing.com – Russia stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Telecoms, Oil&Gas and Manufacturing sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Moscow, the MICEX rose 0.34% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the MICEX were MTS (MCX:MTSS), which rose 2.38% or 5.70 points to trade at 244.70 at the close. Meanwhile, Lukoil (MCX:LKOH) added 2.37% or 76.0 points to end at 3286.0 and Polymetal International PLC (MCX:POLY) was up 2.35% or 14.00 points to 609.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Inter rao ees (MCX:IRAO), which fell 3.39% or 0.1290 points to trade at 3.6710 at the close. MMK (MCX:MAGN) declined 3.17% or 1.100 points to end at 33.550 and Moskovskaya Birzha OAO (MCX:MOEX) was down 2.42% or 2.90 points to 116.70.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 110 to 107 and 24 ended unchanged.

Shares in Lukoil (MCX:LKOH) rose to all time highs; rising 2.37% or 76.0 to 3286.0.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MICEX options, was down 0.95% to 24.930.

Gold for February delivery was up 0.78% or 9.15 to $1178.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 0.59% or 0.30 to hit $51.36 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.26% or 0.14 to trade at $54.08 a barrel.

USD/RUB was down 0.23% to 63.8257, while EUR/RUB fell 0.23% to 68.118.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.22% at 100.80.

DJIA closes down 11% on Friday

Investing.com - Wall Street equities were mixed on Friday. The monthly American jobs report showed strong signs of ongoing growth in hiring, with nearly 200,000 new jobs created during November, as the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly a decade. The DJIA closed at 19170.42 today, down 21.51, or 11%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined on intraday trading by 20 points or 0.1%, to 19170. TheS&P 500 gained 0.2% and the NASDAQ Composite was down 0.1%. The 10-year Treasury yields fell.

Equities of real-estate companies and energy companies headed gains in the S&P 500, both increasing over 1%. These stocks are sometimes considered proxies for bonds, due to their frequent dividends.

Tepid wage growth, as seen in the jobs report, contrasted with recent indicators of an increase in inflation signs.

Today's jobs report was the final economic indicator to be issued before the Federal Reserve’s December meeting. The central bank is expected by analysts to raise interest rates. Some market watchers believe the jobs report contained enough signs of labor market strength to keep the Fed on its rate-raising path into next year, a sentiment that left stock markets calm throughout the morning.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been up for two days in which the Nasdaq has declined by 1% -- a phenomenon that has not been seen in 16 years on Wall Street.

Finland stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 down 0.63%

Investing.com – Finland stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Technology, Industrials and Healthcare sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 declined 0.63%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Metsa Board Oyj B (HE:METSB), which rose 1.40% or 0.085 points to trade at 6.160 at the close. Meanwhile, Fortum Oyj (HE:FUM1V) added 0.59% or 0.08 points to end at 13.69 and Nokian Renkaat Oyj (HE:NRE1V) was up 0.15% or 0.05 points to 34.35 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Outokumpu Oyj (HE:OUT1V), which fell 1.70% or 0.1250 points to trade at 7.2100 at the close. Cargotec Oyj (HE:CGCBV) declined 1.65% or 0.64 points to end at 38.06 and Nokia Oyj (HE:NOKIA) was down 1.60% or 0.064 points to 3.938.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 121 to 62 and 15 ended unchanged.

Brent oil for February delivery was up 0.15% or 0.08 to $54.02 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 0.43% or 0.22 to hit $51.28 a barrel, while the February Gold contract rose 0.82% or 9.60 to trade at $1179.00 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.18% to 1.0678, while EUR/GBP fell 0.60% to 0.8417.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.27% at 100.75.

U.K. stocks lower at close of trade; Investing.com United Kingdom 100 down 0.31%

Investing.com – U.K. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Technology Hardware&Equipment, Industrial Metals&Mining and Construction&Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in London, the Investing.com United Kingdom 100 lost 0.31%.

The best performers of the session on the Investing.com United Kingdom 100 were Berkeley Group Hldgs (LON:BKGH), which rose 8.45% or 215.00 points to trade at 2760.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Land Securities Group PLC (LON:LAND) added 2.18% or 20.50 points to end at 959.50 and Randgold Resources Ltd (LON:RRS) was up 2.10% or 120.00 points to 5825.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (LON:RBS), which fell 3.15% or 6.300 points to trade at 193.400 at the close. Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (LON:RR) declined 3.08% or 21.00 points to end at 661.00 and Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) was down 2.79% or 6.10 points to 212.95.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the London Stock Exchange by 1394 to 899 and 421 ended unchanged.

Gold for February delivery was up 0.78% or 9.15 to $1178.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 0.65% or 0.33 to hit $51.39 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.44% or 0.24 to trade at $54.18 a barrel.

GBP/USD was up 0.64% to 1.2673, while EUR/GBP fell 0.54% to 0.8422.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.21% at 100.81.

Germany stocks lower at close of trade; DAX down 0.20%

Investing.com – Germany stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Technology, Food&Beverages and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX fell 0.20%, while the MDAX index lost 0.55%, and the TecDAX index declined 0.55%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were Prosiebensat 1 Media AG (DE:PSMGn), which rose 0.81% or 0.260 points to trade at 32.420 at the close. Meanwhile, Adidas AG NA O.N. (DE:ADSGN) added 0.62% or 0.850 points to end at 138.500 and Deutsche Telekom AG Na (DE:DTEGn) was up 0.58% or 0.085 points to 14.730 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Commerzbank AG O.N. (DE:CBKG), which fell 1.98% or 0.133 points to trade at 6.591 at the close. Deutsche Bank AG NA O.N. (DE:DBKGn) declined 1.95% or 0.295 points to end at 14.835 and Lufthansa AG VNA O.N. (DE:LHAG) was down 1.30% or 0.160 points to 12.135.

The top performers on the MDAX were Symrise AG Inh. O.N. (DE:SY1G) which rose 1.35% to 56.350, Fuchs Petrolub AG VZO Pref (DE:FPEG_p) which was up 1.31% to settle at 37.590 and Deutsche Wohnen AG Inh (DE:DWNG) which gained 1.07% to close at 28.290.

The worst performers were Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG (DE:PBBG) which was down 2.89% to 9.54 in late trade, Steinhoff International Holdings NV (DE:SNHG) which lost 1.83% to settle at 4.24 and Hella KGaA Hueck&Co (DE:HLE) which was down 1.77% to 32.24 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were STRATEC Biomedical AG (DE:SBSG) which rose 3.74% to 43.000, Xing AG (DE:OBCGn) which was up 2.19% to settle at 177.300 and CompuGroup Medical AG O.N. (DE:COPMa) which gained 1.29% to close at 38.085.

The worst performers were Dialog Semiconductor (DE:DLGS) which was down 4.78% to 34.635 in late trade, Slm Solution G (DE:AM3D) which lost 3.03% to settle at 30.75 and S&T AG (F:SANT1) which was down 2.43% to 8.830 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 578 to 320 and 24 ended unchanged.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was down 1.45% to 20.65.

Gold for February delivery was up 0.80% or 9.35 to $1178.75 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 0.65% or 0.33 to hit $51.39 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.46% or 0.25 to trade at $54.19 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.13% to 1.0673, while EUR/GBP fell 0.56% to 0.8421.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.22% at 100.80.

Poland stocks lower at close of trade; WIG30 down 0.04%

Investing.com – Poland stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Telecoms, Chemicals and Oil&Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Warsaw, the WIG30 fell 0.04%.

The best performers of the session on the WIG30 were Energa SA (WA:ENGP), which rose 3.07% or 0.24 points to trade at 8.05 at the close. Meanwhile, CD Projekt SA (WA:CDR) added 2.81% or 1.41 points to end at 51.66 and PKO Bank Polski SA (WA:PKO) was up 1.98% or 0.50 points to 25.78 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Eurocash SA (WA:EUR), which fell 3.10% or 1.16 points to trade at 36.29 at the close. CCC SA (WA:CCCP) declined 2.32% or 4.55 points to end at 191.80 and Bank Zachodni WBK SA (WA:BZW) was down 2.09% or 6.10 points to 285.40.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Warsaw Stock Exchange by 263 to 259 and 189 ended unchanged.

Shares in CD Projekt SA (WA:CDR) rose to all time highs; up 2.81% or 1.41 to 51.66.

Crude oil for January delivery was up 0.49% or 0.25 to $51.31 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in February rose 0.32% or 0.17 to hit $54.11 a barrel, while the February Gold contract rose 0.71% or 8.35 to trade at $1177.75 a troy ounce.

EUR/PLN was down 0.03% to 4.4874, while USD/PLN fell 0.09% to 4.2066.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.18% at 100.84.

Norway stocks lower at close of trade; Oslo OBX down 0.90%

Investing.com – Norway stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Media, Telecoms and Banking sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX fell 0.90%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Bw Lpg (OL:BWLPG), which rose 4.81% or 1.37 points to trade at 29.85 at the close. Meanwhile, DNO International ASA (OL:DNO) added 4.05% or 0.31 points to end at 7.96 and REC Silicon ASA (OL:REC) was up 2.33% or 0.02 points to 0.96 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Seadrill Limited (OL:SDRL), which fell 6.10% or 1.6 points to trade at 25.1 at the close. Schibsted ASA A (OL:SBSTA) declined 2.41% or 4.4 points to end at 178.1 and Schibsted ASA B (OL:SBSTB) was down 2.13% or 3.70 points to 169.80.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 113 to 91 and 27 ended unchanged.

Shares in Schibsted ASA A (OL:SBSTA) fell to 52-week lows; falling 2.41% or 4.4 to 178.1. Shares in Schibsted ASA B (OL:SBSTB) fell to all time lows; falling 2.13% or 3.70 to 169.80.

Crude oil for January delivery was up 0.57% or 0.29 to $51.35 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in February rose 0.35% or 0.19 to hit $54.13 a barrel, while the February Gold contract rose 0.74% or 8.65 to trade at $1178.05 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was up 0.02% to 8.9771, while USD/NOK fell 0.07% to 8.4149.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.19% at 100.83.

Greece stocks lower at close of trade; Athens General-Composite down 0.19%

Investing.com – Greece stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Retail, Banking and Travel sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Athens, the Athens General-Composite lost 0.19%.

The best performers of the session on the Athens General-Composite were Select Textile (AT:EPIr), which rose 7.28% or 0.011 points to trade at 0.162 at the close. Meanwhile, Quest Holdings (AT:IQTr) added 4.67% or 0.280 points to end at 6.280 and Public Power (AT:DEHr) was up 3.33% or 0.10 points to 3.10 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Selonda Aquaculture SA (AT:SELr), which fell 10.00% or 0.0200 points to trade at 0.1800 at the close. Papoutsanis (AT:PSALr) declined 5.64% or 0.011 points to end at 0.184 and Folli Follie (AT:HDFr) was down 4.07% or 0.75 points to 17.70.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Athens Stock Exchange by 51 to 46 and 13 ended unchanged.

Shares in Quest Holdings (AT:IQTr) rose to 52-week highs; up 4.67% or 0.280 to 6.280.

Gold for February delivery was up 0.64% or 7.45 to $1176.85 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in January rose 0.67% or 0.34 to hit $51.40 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.57% or 0.31 to trade at $54.25 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.15% to 1.0675, while EUR/GBP fell 0.58% to 0.8419.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.22% at 100.80.

USD/CAD at 2-month lows after U.S., Canadian data

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar was hovering at two-month lows against its Canadian counterpart on Friday, after the release of rather mixed U.S. employment data and a strong jobs report from Canada.

USD/CAD hit 1.3256 during early U.S. trade, the pair’s lowest since November 9; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.3278, down 0.28%.

The pair was likely to find support at 1.3259, the low of November 9 and resistance at 1.3442, Thursday’s high.

The U.S. Labor Department said the economy added 178,000 jobs in November, beating expectations for an increase of 175,000.

However, the number of jobs created in October was revised down to 142,000 from a previously estimated 161,000 gain.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in November from 4.9% the previous month, confouding expectations for an unchanged reading.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings slipped 0.1% this month, compared to expectations for a 0.2% rise and after an increase of 0.4% in October.

The greenback had rallied on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached an agreement on an oil output cut aimed at tackling global oversupply and shoring up prices.

Expectations for higher oil prices added to U.S. inflation expectations, which have already been boosted by prospects for increased fiscal spending under the Trump administration.

However, traders also remained cautious amid concerns over the implementation of the deal under which OPEC members were joined by non-OPEC Russia for the first time in 15 years in announcing coordinated production cuts by a combined 1.5 million barrels per day.

In Canada, official data showed that the number of employed people increased by 10,700 in November, beating expectations for a decline of 20,000 and after a 43,900 jump the previous month.

Canada’s unemployment rate slipped to 6.8% this month from 7.0% in October, compared to expectations for an unchanged reading.

The loonie was also higher against the euro, with EUR/CAD shedding 0.28% to 1.4142.

Dollar index holds steady after U.S. jobs data

Investing.com - The dollar held steady against the other majors currencies on Friday, after the release of mixed U.S. employment data, although overall optimism over the strength of the economy continued to support the greenback near multi-year highs.

EUR/USD was little changed at 1.0656.

The U.S. Labor Department said the economy added 178,000 jobs in November, beating expectations for an increase of 175,000.

However, the number of jobs created in October was revised down to 142,000 from a previously estimated 161,000 gain.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in November from 4.9% the previous month, confouding expectations for an unchanged reading.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings slipped 0.1% this month, compared to expectations for a 0.2% rise and after an increase of 0.4% in October.

The greenback had rallied on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached an agreement on an oil output cut aimed at tackling global oversupply and shoring up prices.

Expectations for higher oil prices added to U.S. inflation expectations, which have already been boosted by prospects for increased fiscal spending under the Trump administration.

However, traders also remained cautious amid concerns over the implementation of the deal under which OPEC members were joined by non-OPEC Russia for the first time in 15 years in announcing coordinated production cuts by a combined 1.5 million barrels per day.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD gained 0.35% to trade at 1.2634, just off the previous session’s two-month peak of 1.2697.

Research group Markit reported on Friday that its U.K. construction purchasing managers’ index rose to a seven-month high of 52.8 this month from 52.6 in October, confounding expectations for a downtick to 52.2.

USD/JPY fell 0.20% to 113.85, while USD/CHF eased 0.09% to 1.0096.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.18% at 0.7428 and with NZD/USD rising 0.25% to 0.7109.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD was little changed at 1.3303, close to a two-month low of 1.3287 hit earlier in the session.

In Canada, official data showed that the number of employed people increased by 10,700 in November, beating expectations for a decline of 20,000 and after a 43,900 jump the previous month.

Canada’s unemployment rate slipped to 6.8% this month from 7.0% in October, compared to expectations for an unchanged reading.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 100.98, still close to recent 14-year highs of 102.12.

Average hourly earnings in the U.S. -0.1% vs. 0.2% forecast

Average hourly earnings in the U.S. fell more-than-expected last month, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor said that Average hourly earnings in the U.S. fell to a seasonally adjusted -0.1%, from 0.4% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected Average hourly earnings to fall to 0.2% last month.

Canadian unemployment rate 6.8% vs. 7.0% forecast

The rate of unemployment in Canada fell unexpectedly last month, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, Statistics Canada said that Canadian unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 6.8%, from 7.0% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected Canadian unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 7.0% last month.

U.S. stock futures lower with eyes on jobs report, profit-taking in oil

Investing.com - Wall Street futures pointed to a lower open on Friday as investors looked ahead to the November employment report and watched as investors took profits in oil after a two-day rally.

The blue-chip Dow futures declined 34 points, or 0.18%, by 6:48AM ET (11:48GMT), the S&P 500 futures fell 6 points, or 0.29%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures lost 25 points, or 0.53%.

The Labor Department is scheduled to release data on nonfarm payrolls (NFP) at 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT) in what will be Friday’s main market event.

Expectations are for the report to confirm the continued strength of the U.S. labor market.

The consensus forecast is that Friday’s report will show the economy created 175,000 jobs in November, up from 161,000 in October.

The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 4.9% and average earnings are expected to increase by 0.2%.

With expectations for a rate hike in December already baked into markets, the data could adjust bets for the second increase in 2017. According to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool, Fed fund futures were pricing in a 58.1% chance of another 25 basis point hike in June.

Fed governors Lael Brainard and Daniel Tarullo were scheduled for speeches later in the session which may offer the first opportunity to hear the take on the jobs report from policymakers.

The dollar was little changed against other majors as investors looked ahead to NFP. The dollar index was last up 0.04% at 101.06 by 6:49AM ET (11:49GMT).

Meanwhile, investors were taking profits in crude on Friday after an aggressive agreement among major oil producers to cut production and tackle the global supply glut earlier in the week sparked a two-day rally that pushed black gold up nearly 15%.

Investors also looked ahead to Baker Hughes’ data on the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. last week. Data in the prior week settled at 474 in what was the 12th increase in 13 weeks.

U.S. shale companies are largely expected to ramp up production to take advantage of higher prices and the gap left by OPEC’s promise to reduce output.

U.S. crude oil futures fell 1.31% to $50.39 at by 6:49AM ET (11:49GMT), while Brent oil traded down 1.45% to $53.16.

In company news, Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI) could see downside in Friday’s trade after the specialty metals and components supplier suspended its quarterly dividend after the prior day’s market close.

Gap (NYSE:GPS) may also face a selloff after it announced that same-store sales fell 1% in November and chief financial officer Sabrina Simmons commented that traffic trends had “remained challenging”.

In earnings, Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) surprised markets who had expected the retailer to post a quarterly loss. The retailer managed to post profit of $0.04 per share and produced a full year guidance that beat consensus.

November jobs report may adjust expectations for 2nd Fed rate hike

Investing.com – While all eyes will be on the publication of the November employment report out at 8:30AM ET (15:30GMT) Friday, the focus for markets beyond an expected continued show of strength from the U.S. labor market will be on the implications for the path of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) monetary policy.

The consensus forecast is that Friday’s report will show the economy created 175,000 jobs in November, up from 161,000 in October.

The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 4.9% and average earnings are expected to increase by 0.2%.

Fed officials have already indicated that they feel the labor market is at or very close to their objective of full employment, though there are still weak spots in the labor market.

For example, the participation rate, an indicator for the percentage of working-age people who are employed or actively looking for a job, did fall in October to near its lowest level since 1978.

Still, Thursday’s data showed that weekly jobless claims remained below the 300,000 threshold generally associated with a firming labor market for 91 consecutive weeks, its longest stretch since 1970.

Annualized average wage growth in October was at 2.8%, its fastest pace since 2009 and a positive sign that would suggest consumers could begin to pass those increased earnings over to the real economy.

Implications for Fed policy tightening

With all this in mind, and with markets already fully discounting a 25 basis point hike at the December 13-14 meeting, it would most likely take a cataclysmic report to sway the Fed from its current path.

However, forward-looking markets could well use the data to adjust their expectations for a future move in 2017 by the U.S. monetary authority even prior to the announcement and implementation of policies by then President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration is widely expected to pass policies to increase infrastructure spending that could foster economic growth and accelerate inflation, placing further pressure on the Fed to move ahead with policy normalization.

According to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool, markets are currently pricing in a second rate hike at the June 2017 decision, meeting in which the odds pass the 50% threshold at 58.1%.

In the bracketing policy decision dates, Fed fund futures show only a 27.3% chance of a move in May, while odds for an additional hike in July were at 63.3%.

Meanwhile, the dollar was trading flat ahead of the publication. At 6:36AM ET (8:36GMT), the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.05% at 101.07 .

Gold for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $2.35, or 0.20%, to trade at $1,171.75 by 6:38AM ET (8:38GMT). The yellow metal was bouncing off a 10-month low on Friday, was slightly higher ahead of the key U.S. employment report.

U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open. The blue-chip Dow futures declined 29 points, or 0.15%, by 6:41AM ET (11:41GMT), the S&P 500 futures fell 6 points, or 0.27%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures lost 23 points, or 0.49%.

Brazilian industrial production -7.3% vs. -6.5% forecast

Industrial production in Brazil fell more-than-expected last month, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, Instituto Brasiliero de Geografia e Estatistica said that Brazilian Industrial Production fell to -7.3%, from -4.7% in the preceding month whose figure was revised up from -4.8%.

Analysts had expected Brazilian Industrial Production to fall to -6.5% last month.

Sri Lanka stocks higher at close of trade; CSE All-Share up 0.26%

Investing.com – Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Land&Property, Healthcare and Banking, Financials&Insurance sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share gained 0.26%.

The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were Serendib Engineering Group PLC (CM:IDL), which rose 20.97% or 1.30 points to trade at 7.50 at the close. Meanwhile, Singer Industries PLC (CM:SINI) added 20.27% or 29.50 points to end at 175.00 and Office Equipment PLC (CM:OFEQ) was up 17.65% or 12.00 points to 80.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Serendib Land PLC (CM:SLND), which fell 22.35% or 371.20 points to trade at 1290.00 at the close. Eden Hotel Lanka PLC (CM:EDEN) declined 8.54% or 1.40 points to end at 15.00 and Namunukula Plantations PLC (CM:NAMU) was down 6.42% or 4.80 points to 70.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 103 to 44 and 47 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for January delivery was down 0.98% or 0.50 to $50.56 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in February fell 1.04% or 0.56 to hit $53.38 a barrel, while the February Gold contract rose 0.39% or 4.55 to trade at $1173.95 a troy ounce.

GBP/LKR was down 0.83% to 185.950, while USD/LKR fell 0.33% to 147.770.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.02% at 101.04.

Dollar index little changed ahead of U.S. jobs report

Investing.com - The dollar was little changed against the other majors currencies on Friday, as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of U.S. jobs data later in the day and as optimism following the recent oil production cut deal began to fade

EUR/USD slipped 0.16% to 1.0641.

Sentiment on the greenback was fragile on Friay as market participants looked ahead to the upcoming U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for further indications on the strength of the job market.

The greenback had rallied on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached an agreement on an oil output cut aimed at tackling global oversupply and shoring up prices.

Expectations for higher oil prices added to U.S. inflation expectations, which have already been boosted by prospects for increased fiscal spending under the Trump administration.

However, traders also remained cautious amid concerns over the implementation of the deal under which OPEC members were joined by non-OPEC Russia for the first time in 15 years in announcing coordinated production cuts by a combined 1.5 million barrels per day.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD edged up 0.18% to trade at 1.2616, just off the previous session’s two-month peak of 1.2697.

Research group Markit reported on Friday that its U.K. construction purchasing managers’ index rose to a seven-month high of 52.8 this month from 52.6 in October, confounding expectations for a downtick to 52.2.

The pound had strengthened broadly on Thursday after British Brexit Minister David Davis indicated on Thursday that London would consider paying for access to European markets after Brexit.

USD/JPY slid 0.26% to 113.81, while USD/CHF added 0.10% to 1.0115.

The Australian dollar was stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.11% at 0.7424, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7089.

Earlier Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier reported that retail sales increased by 0.5% in October, beating expectations for an uptick of 0.3%.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD was little changed at 1.3303, close to a two-month low of 1.3287 hit earlier in the session.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 101.06, still close to recent 14-year highs of 102.12.