Saturday, 5 January 2013

S&P 500 hits 5-year high as US employment rises

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index hit 1,466.47, its highest level since December 2007, after gaining 0.5 percent on Friday.

Economic data on Friday were mixed.

US nonfarm payrolls increased by 155,000 in December and the unemployment rate held at 7.8 percent.

The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index rose to 56.1 in December from 54.7 in November.

US factory orders were flat in November even as orders for non-defense capital equipment excluding aircraft rose 2.6 percent.

In the euro area, Markit's composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers rose to 47.2 in December from 46.5 in November after the services index rose to 47.8 from 46.7.

German retail sales rose 1.2 percent in November.

The eurozone inflation rate remained at 2.2 percent in December.

In the UK, the Markit/CIPS services PMI fell to 48.9 in December, its lowest reading since April 2009, from 50.2 in November.

UK consumer credit rose by 0.1 billion pounds in November, mortgage approvals rose to 54,036 in November, the highest in 10 months, from 53,071 in October but mortgage lending dropped by 0.2 billion pounds.

In China, HSBC's services PMI fell to 51.7 in December from 52.1 in November.

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