US stocks rose amid gains across sectors on Friday as Donald Trump gets set to become the 45th president of the United States. The dollar index slipped into negative territory, while a 2 percent rise in oil prices pushed up energy stocks. At 10:55am ET (1555 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 92.05 points, or 0.47 percent, at 19,824.45, and was on track to snap a five-day losing streak. The S&P 500 was up 10.04 points, or 0.44 percent, at 2,273.73 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 19.25 points, or 0.35 percent, at 5,559.33. (Reuters)
The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reassured German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble this week that the IMF plans to remain constructively engaged in talks about aid for Greece, a spokesman for Schaeuble said on Friday. Christine Lagarde spoke with Schaeuble about the Greek bailout program during the World Economic Forum in Davos and told him the IMF was aiming to continue its participation, the spokesman said. The German Finance Ministry this week denied a report in Bild newspaper that Berlin was preparing for a deal without the global lender, which has said it will join the deal only if it includes significant debt relief. (Reuters)
Russia’s budget deficit for 2016 amounted to 2.967 trillion rubles ($49.7 billion), or 3.5 percent of GDP, according to documents released by the Finance Ministry on Friday. Previously the ministry expected the federal budget deficit for 2016 to reach 3.9 percent of GDP, TASS reports. The federal budget revenues reached 13.459 trillion rubles ($225.7 billion) last year, amounting to 100.7 percent of the annual plan, while its expenditures stood at 16.426 trillion rubles ($275.2 billion) in the reporting period, or 98.7 percent of the financing target.
French weapons sales hit a record high of more than €20 billion ($21.33 billion) in 2016 after submarine contracts in Australia and fighter jet sales to India, France’s defense minister said. “In 2015, we hit our historical exports figure of €17 billion,” Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a New Year’s speech to defense officials late on Thursday. “For 2016, the total is not yet tallied, but I can say that thanks to the Australia contract, we have reached a new summit with more than €20 billion in sales.” Paris also completed a deal for the sale of 36 high-end Rafale fighter planes from Dassault worth about $9 billion. (Reuters)
Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin does not expect sharp exchange rate fluctuations in Russia’s national currency similar to those in 2014 and 2015 any time soon. “The dynamics are quite stable. Central Bank policy will ensure that there will be no such sharp fluctuations as we saw in 2014-2015,” he said in an interview aired by Rossiya-24 TV news channel on Friday. Russia may proceed with the privatization of big state-run assets, the minister added. “Amid market growth, Russian assets are becoming increasingly credible,” TASS quoted him as saying.
China stocks ended a volatile week on an upbeat note on Friday, as main indexes rose after data showing faster-than-expected economic growth fuelled blue-chips, while a surge in small-caps erased most of the losses earlier in the week. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.8 percent, to 3,354.89 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.7 percent to 3,123.14 points. For the week, CSI300 was up 1.1 percent, while SSEC was up 0.3 percent. At the end of a volatile week, market sentiment improved after China reported faster-than-expected 6.8 percent growth in the fourth quarter. (Reuters)
Hong Kong stocks ended a thinly-traded week down and snapped three weeks of gains on Friday, as investors were wary ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th US president later in the day. The benchmark Hang Seng index fell 0.7 percent, to 22,885.91 points at the close, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.8 percent, to 9,715.72 points. The benchmark index lost a modest 0.2 percent this week. “The key risk is Trump’s trade policy. The external risk of China is obviously heightened, at the same time how Fed will move policy rates in the US,” said Raymond Yeung, chief economist of Greater China for ANZ in Hong Kong. (Reuters)