Equity markets saw healthy gains last week with the S&P500 extending its strong November gains by another 2.24 per cent.
The tech heavy Nasdaq also saw a positive week rallying 2.37pc.
Asian markets also saw positive returns with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rising by 1.46pc and Japan's Nikkei increasing by 3.12pc.
Asian markets also saw positive returns with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rising by 1.46pc and Japan's Nikkei increasing by 3.12pc.- Christopher Hindmarsh, JBWere Limited
Australia saw more modest returns with the ASX200 increasing by 1.04pc, aided heavily by a strong week in mining stocks which rallied 3.11pc.
In commodity markets, Brent oil saw a 1.3pc drop last week, even with a 4pc rally on Friday. Friday's sudden jump comes on reports Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ counties were planning to extend its supply cuts in what seems to be a reaction to the price falling below $US77.
Bloomberg reported this week Germany is exploring a drastic overhaul of its federal budget for this year, which includes relaxing current restrictions on net new debt. The report comes at a time when European Central Bank (ECB) council member Pierre Wunsch said the ECB may have to raise borrowing costs again if the markets pricing for an easier policy undermines the bank's policy stance.
Mr Wunsch, a known hawk, has expressed his concerns that current easing of financial conditions might make policy too loose to effectively reduce inflation.
UK retail sales, excluding fuel, for October came in lower than expected falling 0.1pc month-on-month against expectations of a 0.5pc rise. While the data highlights cost of living pressures affecting households, it is worth noting the negative impact of excessively wet weather has on retail sales.
The reduced figures still highlight a squeeze on household incomes which is helping to slow inflation. Retail sales in the UK are now the lowest since Covid-19 lockdowns.
Similar to Australia, housing debt has become a major concern with an estimated 1.6 million mortgages in the United Kingdom set to be refinanced at a significantly higher rate next year.
In Australian policy movements, the Queensland government is doubling the first home buyers grant to $30,000 for new builds. The grant only applies to buying or building a new property valued under $750,000.
The grant comes at a time when there are already inflationary pressures facing housing constructions, with many economists suggesting the grant will quickly be reflected in house prices.
- This article does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. Before acting on any advice contained in this article, you should assess whether it is appropriate in light of your own financial circumstances or contact your financial adviser. Christopher Hindmarsh is an adviser at JBWere Limited. JBWere Limited AFSL 341162.