Saturday, 15 February 2014

S&P 500 edges closer to all-time high as eurozone economy accelerates

Stocks rose on Friday. The S&P 500 climbed 0.5 percent to come within 10 points of its all-time high. The STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.6 percent and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 1.3 percent.

US economic data on Friday were mixed. Factory production fell 0.8 percent in January, the biggest drop since May 2009. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment came in unchanged in February though at 81.2.

In the euro area, a report on Friday showed that the economy grew 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 0.1 percent growth in the third quarter. For 2013 as a whole, the economy contracted 0.4 percent.

In Asia, China reported on Friday that its inflation rate was unchanged at 2.5 percent in January while India reported that its inflation rate fell to 5.05 percent in January from 6.16 percent the previous month.

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