A recent budget agreement by US lawmakers could ease concerns over the country's hectic budget process and avoid another government shutdown, a National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) report showed.
The government was partially closed from October 1 to October 16 after a battle over Obamacare held up passage for a measure to fund the government. The budget deal calmed the political gridlock in Washington, only to raise uncertainty over the equally volatile issue, the debt ceiling, the nation's borrowing limit, the weekly report said.
Retail sales in the US rose in November by the most since September 2012, a sign that consumer spending is emerging from a slow third quarter. The 0.7 percent gain followed a revised 0.6 percent increase in October, which was larger than first reported. The increase exceeded the expected 0.6 percent rise, it said.
Claims in the US for unemployment benefits rose more than forecasted last week, from the lowest level in almost 3-months, a reaction of volatility that usually occurs at year-end holiday. Applications for unemployment benefits surged by 68,000 to 368,000 last week, from a revised 300,000 the previous week, the report added.
On European indexes, it said German industrial production index fell unexpectedly for a second month in October, a sign that Europe's powerhouse is enduring an uneven recovery.
In the UK, the UK Industrial Production rose for a second month in October, signaling that the British economy is resilient while keeping momentum going onto the fourth quarter. Industrial output rose by 0.4% in November, exactly matching economists' forecasts, but slightly slower than Septembers' increase of 0.9%, the NBK report indicated.
Gold plummeted towards the end of the week, almost posting the biggest drop in 10 weeks, as concerns escalate as to whether the Federal Reserve will start reducing its bond-buying program, after lawmakers reached a budget agreement earlier this week. The precious metal plummeted to a low of USD 1,220.68 per ounce, it concluded.