St George Economics economy and finance update

Share Markets:

The US stockmarket had a lacklustre session on Friday night, with low volumes ahead of the US Memorial Day holiday today.

The Dow rose 0.1%, the S&P 500 slipped 0.1% and the Nasdaq was unchanged.

European stockmarkets weakened on concerns regarding the outlook for global economic growth.

The Nikkei had a volatile session but finished the session stronger on Friday, following Thursday's plunge. The Australian stockmarket fell on Friday, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 1.6% for the session.


Bond prices edged higher (yields slipped) as recent stockmarket volatility saw some investors move into safe haven government debt.

Foreign Exchange:

The Aussie dollar weakened against the major currencies on Friday on concerns about the outlook for China's economic growth following the release of soft manufacturing data in China on Thursday.


Commodity prices edged lower, with coffee prices slumping to more than a three-year low on higher inventories in Europe and the US.

Copper prices lost ground on concerns about the outlook for economic growth in China.


There was no significant local data to report.


The German IFO business climate index was better than expected, rising to 105.7 in May, from 104.4 in April.

It was the first increase in German business confidence in three months.

New Zealand:

The trade surplus narrowed in April to NZ$157mn from a surplus of NZ$732mn in March. The deterioration reflected a sharp 10% drop in exports, while imports rose 3%.

United States:

Durable goods orders were stronger than expected, rising 3.3% in April, although this failed to fully reverse March's 5.9% decline.

Durable goods orders for non-defence capital goods excluding aircraft, which gives a lead on business investment, rose 1.2% in April, after rising 0.9% in March (previously reported as a 0.2% increase).

Please read the disclaimer below:

The information contained in this report (the Information) is provided for, and is only to be used by, persons in Australia. The information may not comply with the laws of another jurisdiction. The Information is general in nature and does not take into account the particular investment objectives or financial situation of any potential reader. It does not constitute, and should not be relied on as, financial or investment advice or recommendations (expressed or implied) and is not an invitation to take up securities or other financial products or services. No decision should be made on the basis of the Information without first seeking expert financial advice. For persons with whom St.George has a contract to supply Information, the supply of the Information is made under that contract and St.George's agreed terms of supply apply. St.George does not represent or guarantee that the Information is accurate or free from errors or omissions and St.George disclaims any duty of care in relation to the Information and liability for any reliance on investment decisions made using the Information. The Information is subject to change. Terms, conditions and any fees apply to St. George products and details are available. St.George or its officers, agents or employees (including persons involved in preparation of the Information) may have financial interests in the markets discussed in the Information. St.George owns copyright in the Information unless otherwise indicated. The Information should not be reproduced, distributed, linked or transmitted without the written consent of St.George.

Topics:  economy finance st george stock market

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