Key Data for the Week
Key economic data released this week:
The ASX 200 gained 26.8pts to close 0.5% higher at 6,011, led by gains in the Utilities and Consumer Discretionary sectors.
The major banks rallied yesterday; Commonwealth Bank was the best performer up 0.76%, Westpac and NAB put on 0.74% and 0.68% respectively, whilst ANZ lifted 0.49%.
The Australian futures market points to a 0.18% fall today.
US share markets were dragged lower due to a sell-off in Technology shares overnight. Stocks started the day higher on speculation the US Senate would pass cuts to corporate taxes. Banks led the gains because the banking industry is viewed as being one of the industries that will benefit the most from corporate tax cuts.
The Dow Jones ended the session up 0.44%, whilst the S&P 500 lost 0.04% and the NASDAQ, which includes more Technology companies, gave up 1.27%.
The US economy grew faster than initially thought in the third quarter, notching its quickest pace in three years, buoyed by robust business spending and an accumulation of inventories.
Gross Domestic Product grew at an annual pace of 3.3% from July through September, previously reported to have grown 3.0%, and is a pick-up from the second quarter reading of 3.1%.
It was the first time since 2014 that the economy experienced growth of 3% or more for two straight quarters, despite two devastating hurricanes.
Business investment increased at an annual pace of 7.3% from July through September, the biggest pickup for that category since the end of 2016.
However, consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of US economic output, grew at an annual pace of just 2.3%, down from 3.3% in the second quarter.
The brisk GDP growth pace strengthens the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.
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