North American markets are starting the final month of this year on strong footing after Chinese manufacturing data increased, and as concerns over Dubai World’s debts appears to be dissipating as the company works with creditors to find a solution. The ISM manufacturing index in the US also remained firmly in expansion mode for the fourth month in a row, however slightly off the pace set in October.
Pending home sales in the US were expected to slip back after increasing 6% in September, but unexpectedly climbed another at another 3.7% clip and have now increased for nine consecutive months. European and Asian shares rallied smartly overnight. The Australian central bank raised interest rates for the third time in three months as the liquidity fuelled economic expansion appears to be taking hold and sustaining itself. The TSX is up 200 pts. The Dow is up 129 pts.
The Canadian dollar is quite strong as the greenback weakens, but also on comments from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty that policy makers are unlikely to intervene in currency markets. The Loonie is up 1.33 cents this morning to US$.9607. Bond yields remain low at 2.35% for the 5-year Canada and 3.22% for the ten. Oil is up $1.44 to US$78.72/barrel. Gold just broke $1200/oz for the first time ever.