Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Markets jump, manufacturing improves in UK and US

Markets have started 2012 on a positive note. Bloomberg reports on Tuesday:

Stocks surged, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the highest level since July, and commodities rallied on signs of increasing manufacturing output around the world. The dollar weakened and U.S. Treasuries fell.

The Dow increased 179.82 points, or 1.5 percent, to 12,397.38 and the S&P 500 jumped 1.6 percent to 1,277.06, the highest close since Oct. 28, at 4 p.m. in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.6 percent and closed at a five-month high. The dollar slipped versus all 16 major peers, while 10- year Treasury yields increased seven basis points to 1.95 percent. Oil settled at an almost eight-month high near $103 a barrel as 23 of 24 commodities in the S&P GSCI Index rose.

More reports on Tuesday indicating improvements in manufacturing activity around the world helped fuel the rally in markets.

In the UK, the Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI rose to 49.6 in December from 47.7 in November.

In the US, the ISM manufacturing PMI rose to 53.9 in December from 52.7 in November. In another encouraging sign for the US economy, a report from the Commerce Department showed that construction spending increased 1.2 percent in November, its third increase in four months.

There was also positive data on Tuesday outside of manufacturing and, for a change, inside the euro area. German unemployment fell by 22,000 in December, pushing the jobless rate down to 6.8 percent from 6.9 percent in November.

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