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International News (Issue 436) – 17 February 2017

The main thing from offshore markets this week to my thinking was the surge in US economic activity in February according to regional surveys in each of New York and Philadelphia.

The post-Trump effect is clearly still at play, but the strength of these numbers and the ongoing strength in employment data seems to suggest there is an increasing likelihood of an earlier-than-expected Federal Reserve interest rate rise, perhaps as soon as mid-March.

The increasing likelihood of a rate rise here will at some point temper recent market strength and this is to be increasingly occupying investor’s minds.

An early US rate rise would in many respects be a good thing for Australia’s economy as it will bring about some much needed easing in the Australian Dollar.

 

Index Change %
U.S. S&P 500 2347 +39 +1.7%
London’s FTSE 7278 +48 +0.7%
Japan’s Nikkei 19348 +440 +2.3%
Hang Seng 24108 +583 +2.5%
China’s Shanghai 3229 +46 +1.4%

 

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