Talking Points:

  • Asian stocks rose across the board as the trading week wound down
  • Bitcoin had another gut-wrenching whipsaw session
  • The British Pound perked up on news that Prime Minister May was going back to Brussels, but saw some profit taking on news of a deal

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Asian stock markets were higher Friday in a session which saw some strong economic data out of the region. Wall Street’s gains helped too as investors looked to the official US labor-market snapshot later in the session.

Japan’s third-quarter Gross Domestic Product data were revised up quite substantially by the country’s statistics agency. Annualized growth is now estimated to have been 2.5%, far better than the 1.4% gain initially reported. China’s November trade data came in very perky too, with both imports and exports beating market expectations. The country’s US-Dollar-terms trade surplus was $40.21 billion. That was higher than both the $35 billion forecast and the previous month’s $38.17 billion.

The Nikkei 225 ended Friday up by 1.39% with the ASX 200 0.28% higher. The only modest dark spot was the Kospi which hovered around the start line as trade wound down.

In the foreign-exchange space, the US Dollar inched higher and looks set to end the week with gains against most major rivals. The British Pound saw some apparent profit taking on news that Brexit talks would at last move on to trade discussions. The currency made sharp headway earlier as Prime Minister Theresa May headed back to Brussels with a possible solution to the Irish border question which had stymied negotiations.

Bitcoin endured yet another torrid session, reaching highs in the $17,000 region before plummeting back below the $15,000 level. Gold prices inched back up from four-month lows while oil prices were constrained by that stronger US Dollar.

Still to come Friday a plethora of UK economic numbers which will include the latest industrial production and trade snapshots. Canadian housing stats are coming up too, but there’s no argument about the headline act. That will be those US labor-market figures wherein a sold gain of 195,000 non-farm jobs is expected for November.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX