Benzinga Market Primer, Friday, November 23

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U.S. equity futures rose slightly in early Friday trading, following a day in which U.S. markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. Retail may dominant the shortened trading session (markets close at 1pm) as millions of Americans head out to snag deals on Black Friday.

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The German business climate index came in greater than expected, printing at 101.4 -- more than the 99.5 that economists were looking for. In Taiwan, the finance minister called for government-controlled funds to be used to purchase cheap Taiwanese equities, leading to a rally in that market. Late Wednesday, HSBC's Chinese Manufacturing PMI came in at 50.4, indicating an expansion in the Chinese manufacturing sector.

Asian Markets

Asian markets were mostly higher, led by Japan's Nikkei, which rallied over 1.50 percent. The Hang Seng was up nearly 0.80%. Japan's Nikkei continues to strong in the face of a weakening yen, as a strong yen has proven to be a bane to Japan's export-dominated economy.

European Markets

European markets have shifted throughout their session, as good numbers out of Germany are weighed against the prospects for Greece. Talks are ongoing among the Troika -- the ECB, EU and IMF -- over changing Greece's deficit targets prior to handing out the next tranche of aid.

Spanish PPI came in lower than expected, at 3.5 percent, while expectations were for four percent. Meanwhile, the French Business Survey came in better than expected, at 88 (expectations were for 86). German GDP was reported inline at 0.2 percent for the quarter, while German business expectations beat the estimate, printing at 95.2, above the 93.2 anticipated.

Commodities

The metals were mixed, with gold trading up slightly higher, near $1733, and copper down around 0.10 percent. Palladium was fairly strong, up about 0.85 percent.

Inversely, most of the energy commodities showed weakness (as the Israeli/Hamas conflict winds down for the time being). Crude oil was off around 0.25 percent, natural gas was down almost 0.50 percent to around $3.88.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar was weaker on Friday, as most other major currencies rallied against it. The euro was trading to a recent high, up above $1.29. The Aussie and New Zealand dollars also saw strength, up about 0.40 percent and 0.50 percent, respectively. The Japanese yen traded higher against the dollar as well, rallying roughly 0.25 percent.

Economics

There are few economic releases on Friday. At 8:30am, markets will gain more insight into the state of the Canadian economy with the release of Canada's official CPI numbers. Canada's central bank officials have made comments in the past hinting that some form of monetary tightening may be necessary, a strong CPI number may lend credence to that view.

Good luck and good trading.

(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Commodities , Futures , International , Options

Referenced Stocks: EWI , EWP , SPY , VGK

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