China’s report that its economy grew faster than anticipated—7.9 percent over Q4, 2012—coincided with strong U.S. labor and housing figures last week to help push up world markets all around.
Republican statements that the House would seek to raise the debt ceiling and avert yet another episode of drama over the U.S. economy also caused the Dow and S&P 500 to hit their highest closing numbers in five years on Friday.
“It could be a big positive for the markets if we come up with a plan of spending cuts that isn’t too awfully hard on the economy,” said Bryant Evans, investment adviser and portfolio manager at Cozad Asset Management, in Champaign, Illinois.
The Dow closed at 13,649.70 on Friday, up 53.68 points, while the S&P 500 Index closed at 1,485.98, up 5.04 points. Over the week, they gained 1.2 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.
The strong economic reports from all quarters caused spot gold to drop slightly, losing $2.87 to land at $1,684.30/oz on Friday.
However, anticipations that the Bank of Japan may start buying up assets until inflation nears 2 percent caused the Japanese yen to fall somewhat against the U.S. dollar.