Stocks ended the week on a strong note. Bloomberg reports:
The MSCI All-Country World Index rose 1.4 percent, extending its weekly gain to 5.5 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index jumped 1.7 percent to 1,224.58, the highest level since Aug. 3. Google jumped 5.9 percent, rising a ninth straight day. Copper increased 3.1 percent as the S&P GSCI Index of materials climbed 2.4 percent today and 5.2 percent this week, its best advance of the year. Ten-year Treasury note yields rose six basis points to 2.25 percent. The euro was at $1.3881, up 3.8 percent this week.
US economic data on Friday were mixed. Retail sales rose 1.1 percent, the most in seven months. Also, business inventories rose 0.5 percent in August while import prices rose 0.3 percent in September. However, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment decreased to 57.5 in October from 59.4 in September.
Meanwhile, inflation remains high in Asia. Inflation in India fell marginally to 9.72 percent in September from 9.78 percent in August. Inflation in China also fell marginally to 6.1 percent in September from 6.2 percent in August even as money supply grew at the slowest pace in a decade and new bank loans fell to the lowest in almost two years.
In the euro area, inflation accelerated to 3.0 percent in September from 2.5 percent in August.
However, inflation is not the main story in Europe at the moment. The sovereign debt crisis is. And that is what the G-20 will be focused on today. From Bloomberg:
Global finance chiefs will focus today on ways to fix Europe’s sovereign debt crisis as the region’s officials consider writing down Greek bonds by as much as 50 percent and establishing a backstop for banks.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 will conclude talks in Paris, after people familiar with the matter said yesterday that euro-area governments are revamping their strategy to combat the debt turmoil which marks its second anniversary next week.