by Alan Thornhill
While Australian investors will welcome the positive lead from Wall Street on Friday, US time, there are good reasons for caution as well.
European traders were not as enthusiastic, in their last trading session, as those on Wall Street.
And Russia’s armed intervention in Georgia over the weekend has opened a new area of instability, with potentially dangerous consequences.
Wall Street, though, did close strongly, with the Dow Jones industrial index rising 302.89 points to 11,734.32.
The S&P 500 closed 30.25 points higher at 1,296.32.
And the tech-heavy NASDAQ composite index rose 58.37 points to 2,414.10.
In Europe, though the DJ Stoxx index rose just 16.73 points to 2,928.31.
A substantial fall in oil prices encouraged Wall Street traders.
Oil futures plunged $US4.82 a barrel to $US115.20 on Friday, US time.
The Australian dollar was trading at 89.15 US cents a short time ago.
There are no major, potentially market moving, statistics due out in Australia this week.
However today’s lending finance figures and Thursday’s average weekly earnings release should both create some interest.
So should today’s Reserve Bank statement on monetary policy, which is due to be released at 11.30 am.
The bank’s assistant governor (financial system) Philip Lowe is also due to address the Retail Financial Services Forum in Sydney on Wednesday morning.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Sunday May 19
The Dow Jones Index rose 121.18 points Friday,New York time) to 15,354.40
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