The Australian equity market is set for a positive start to the week after the US stocks rallied back into positive territory for the year Friday evening after a positive reading on US retail sales and signs of progress in Europe's sovereign-debt crisis.
The Dow finished the week with a 166.36-point gain at 11,644.49, this is now up 0.58 per cent for 2011 while the S&P500 index gained 20.92 points to settle at 1,224.58, its biggest weekly percentage gain since mid-July, 2009.
The US Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail and food services sales rose 1.1 per cent in September, well exceeding analyst's forecasts. Later in the US trading session Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan released the consumer sentiment index for early October, which came at 57.5, 2.7 lower than expected.
The AUDUSD (see above chart) traded up from lows on Friday of 1.0180 to highs of 1.0347 on optimism that the Group of 20 finance leaders were close to announcing a comprehensive plan to tackle Europe's sovereign debt crisis.
WTI Crude oil futures prices traded up over 3.1 per cent on Friday to highs of 87.47 on hopes of an economic recovery in the U.S. and expectations of a pending solution to the European debt crisis.
The volatility index traded down over 8.0 per cent to 9 week low of 28.24 on close of Friday.
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