Global stocks ended the week higher amid plentiful economic data. US economic data were mixed and political noise dominated headlines. January import prices rose a sharp 3.7% y/y, largely driven by volatile oil prices.
In the UK, Brexit uncertainty continued to abate after Parliament voted to give Prime Minister Theresa May the power to invoke Article 50 and begin exit negotiations with the European Union. UK economic data were broadly positive. December industrial production accelerated 4.3% y/y, well ahead of the 3.2% forecast.
In the eurozone, economic data were light. The eurozone retail Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) dropped modestly—from 50.4 in December to 50.1 in January.
In Asia, Chinese trade data reflect a robust economy—January imports climbed to 16.7% y/y and exports rose 7.9% y/y, beating expectations. Japanese data were broadly positive. December bank lending rose 2.5% and core machinery orders rose 6.7% y/y, well ahead of the 4.6% y/y forecast.