Bitesize Global Overview… Nov 6th 2012

Equity markets gain – In a disrupted week for markets, due to the effects of ‘superstorm’ Sandy, equities finished up overall as optimism mounted about the outlook for the global economy.

US data – The final employment numbers before the US presidential election showed that the economy added 171,000 jobs in October, well above the consensus expectation. There were also substantial upward revisions to previous months’ readings.

China bottoming out? – Chinese purchasing managers’ figures showed that manufacturing had expanded in October for the first time in three months, stoking the belief that the economy may have bottomed out after a somewhat worrying slow patch.

Currencies – The US dollar hit its highest level in nearly two months in the wake of the strong employment numbers on Friday. It gained on the euro, sterling and Swiss franc as investors appeared to reduce expectations of further quantitative easing. The €/$ rate finished the week at 1.28.

Commodities – Commodity prices fell, in some cases sharply, hand-in-hand with the dollar’s strength. Gold fell to a two-month low, dropping below $1,680 a troy ounce for the first time since August, while Brent oil also slid to its lowest level since early August, closing close to $106 a barrel.