With six fewer shopping days during the holiday shopping season,
several large retailers went all out for Black Friday weekend by
deeply discounting big ticket items and even opening in the evening
Shoppers flooded stores like Macy's, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us in
search of deals on Thursday night. Many Americans stayed home to
shop, IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark showed that online sales were
up 10 percent from last year on Thursday evening. Nearly 140
million people are expected to spend their cash this weekend, down
from last year's 147 million.
National Bank of Hungary Governor Gyorgy Matolcsy said on Thursday
that ECB president Mario Draghi told his fellow central bankers
that a euro to dollar exchange rate above $1.30 suppresses the
competitiveness of southern Europe's exports. The quote has been
denied by Draghi's spokesperson. China sent fighter jets and an
early warning aircraft to patrol its air-defense zone on Thursday
in response to international defiance of the nation's newly
declared no-fly zone. Although Chinese officials originally
demanded that foreign aircraft notify authorities before entering
the airspace, the recently deployed fighter jets will likely
monitor and escort aircraft entering the zone rather than try to
repel them. Anti government protests in Thailand escalated on
Friday after 1,200 protesters forced their way into the nation's
army headquarters. The incident marks the most dramatic escalation
of demonstrations that the group hopes will eventually oust
Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The Bank of England
announced that it would cut its support for mortgage lending on
Thursday in its semi annual financial stability report. The
decision highlighted the nation's growing worries about soaring
housing prices and their risk to banks' financial stability.
Asian markets were mixed to end the week, the Japanese NIKKEI
was down 0.41 percent and Australia's ASX 200 lost 0.27 percent.
However, China's Shanghai composite gained 0.42 percent and the
Hang Seng index was up 0.39 percent.
European markets were mostly higher, the UK's FTSE gained 0.20
percent and the eurozone's STOXX 600 was up 0.02 percent. The
Spanish IBEX was up 0.37 percent and France's CAC 40 was up 0.05
Energy futures looked poised to end the week on a high note;
Brent futures were up 0.09 percent and WTI futures gained 0.30
percent. Gold gained 0.74 percent and silver was up 1.13 percent.
Industrial metals were mostly lower with Tin posting the largest
loss, down 0.22 percent.
Currency markets were quiet, the euro gained 0.07 percent on the
dollar and the pound fell 0.11 percent against the greenback. The
dollar lost 0.06 percent to the yen and 0.13 percent to the
No Notable Earnings released on Thursday
No notable earnings expected on Friday
Friday's economic calendar will be relatively quiet, with
notable releases including Canadian GDP, the eurozone's
unemployment rate, British mortgage approvals, and German retail
Tune into Benzinga's pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
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