by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com
U.S. stocks were mixed after the closing bell on Friday.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed at close. France’s CAC 40 was down 0.17%; Germany’s DAX gained 0.19%; Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.06%; and the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.14%.
The dollar remained steady to lower against the other major currencies in thin trade on Friday, as data showing that inflation in the euro zone rose more than expected this month continued to support the euro, while Bank of Japan comments still weighed on the yen.
During U.S. morning trade, the euro was steady, near one-month highs against the dollar with EUR/USD up 0.04% at 1.3610.
Preliminary data showed that the annual rate of inflation in the euro zone rose to 0.9% in November, from October’s four year low of 0.7%, exceeding expectations for a rise to 0.8%.
A separate report showed that the unemployment rate in the single currency bloc ticked down to 12.1% last month, from 12.2% in September. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged in October.
The data came after a report showed that German retail sales fell 0.8% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.5% rise, after a 0.2% slip in September.
The greenback was also steady against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.04% at 1.6338.
Earlier in the day, data showed that net lending to individuals in the U.K. rose by GBP1.7 billion in October, after an upwardly revised GBP2.2 billion increase the previous month, compared to expectations for a GBP2.1 billion rise.
In Japan, official data showed that household spending rose at an annualized rate of 0.9% in October, in line with expectations, after a 3.7% increase the previous month.
A separate report showed that Tokyo’s core consumer inflation, which excludes fresh food, rose at an annualized rate of 0.6% this month, exceeding expectations for a 0.4% increase, after a 0.3% rise in October.
In addition, preliminary government data showed that industrial production in Japan rose 0.5% last month, below expectations for a 2% increase, after a 1.3% gain in September.
The yen remained under pressure amid expectations that the BoJ will expand its monetary stimulus program in the coming months in order to meet its target of 2% inflation by 2015.
Separately, the KOF Economic Research Agency said its economic barometer for Switzerland rose to 1.85 in November, from 1.71 the previous month, compared to expectations for a rise to 1.82.
In a report, Statistics Canada said the country’s gross domestic product rose 0.3% in September, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% increase, after a 0.3% rise in August.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.12% at 80.54.
Gold futures rose in thin trade on Friday, but remained under pressure as ongoing expectations for the Federal Reserve to soon begin tapering its asset-purchase program continued to weigh.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery traded at USD1,247.3 a troy ounce during European afternoon trade, up 0.76%.
Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,234.70 a troy ounce, Wednesday’s low and resistance at USD1,254.95, the high from November 26.
Comex floor trading remained closed on Thanksgiving day and an abbreviated session was slated for Friday.
Gold prices remained under pressure after upbeat U.S. employment and consumer confidence data released earlier in the week fuelled expectations the Fed will start to taper its stimulus program at one of its next few meetings.
Prices of the precious metal are down approximately 26% this year on concerns the Fed would start tapering its USD85-billion-a-month asset-purchase program by the end of the year.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for March delivery jumped 1.39% to trade at USD19.955 a troy ounce, while copper for March delivery climbed 0.52% to trade at USD3.207 a pound.
Crude oil futures edged higher during early European trading hours on Friday, but remained close to five-month lows as concerns over rising U.S. inventories and increased production levels continued to weigh.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in January traded at USD92.48 a barrel during European morning trade, up 0.19%.
Nymex floor trading remained closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the U.S.
The closing price Friday in New York was USD92.78 after trading between USD93.88 and USD92.12, slightly above the Wednesday range of USD91.79 and USD93.58 a barrel.
Oil prices remained under pressure after a government report on Wednesday showed that U.S. oil supplies rose more-than-expected last week.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories rose by 3 million barrels last week to hit 391.4 million barrels, the most since June.
Domestic output rose to 8.02 million barrels a day, the highest level in almost 25 years.
Traders also remained focused on developments in Iran, following a recent internationa agreement on the country’s nuclear program.
U.N. inspectors were invited to visit a nuclear-related heavy water facility in Iran, marking an initial concrete step towards resolving the dispute.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for January delivery fell 0.20% to trade at USD110.66 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD18.18 a barrel.
Natural gas futures were higher in U.S. trade on Thursday and again Friday.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, Natural gas futures for January delivery traded at USD3.933 per million British thermal units Thursday evening, up 1.79%.
It earlier traded at a session high USD3.942 per million British thermal units. It was felt Thursday evening that Natural gas was likely to find support at USD3.788 and resistance at USD3.942.
However, Friday Natural gas traded as high as USD3.960 and closed at USD3.956.