US sharemarkets rallied for a third straight week, supported by strong corporate earnings and gains in the small-cap index, the Russell 2000, which continued its rebound after a 10 per cent fall in January.
The Australian sharemarket, the ASX200, sprung back to life supported by gains on Wall Street and a rebound in the beaten-up IT sector as the domestic earnings season picked up the pace.
Here are the top five things that happened in markets this week.
1. CBA earnings beat
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) released 1H2022 earnings this week that beat expectations.
Its cash earnings of $4.75 billion exceeded expectations by 5 per cent, while the dividend announced of $1.75 was also a beat.
2. US Q4 2021 earnings results continue
US earnings season rolled on with reports from companies including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Walt Disney, Twitter, Uber, and Coca-Cola this week.
The share price of Pfizer slumped after its 2022 sales and profit guidance were lower than expected, while the market duly rewarded good results from Uber and Disney.
3. Soft Australian business and consumer confidence
The NAB Business Survey showed business confidence recovering from a sharp fall in December due to the emergence of Omicron, but current conditions worsening.
Both sentiment and conditions are below their long-run averages.
Consumer sentiment fell 1.3 per cent, with Omicron still influencing conditions, and is now slightly below its long-run average.
4. Gold surges
Gold found favour rebounding above $US1830 ($2550) as investors embraced the yellow metal as a hedge against inflation and debasement of fiat currency, equity market volatility and geopolitical tensions.
5. Bitcoin and the Nasdaq
Bitcoin rallied for a third straight week supported by a recovery in equities and risk sentiment, reinforcing its status as a high-octane version of the Nasdaq.
The link between Bitcoin and the Nasdaq is that cryptocurrencies provide access to digital technology, and some high-profile stocks in the Nasdaq hold Bitcoin on their balance sheet.
Traders will look for the gains in Bitcoin to extend towards the next resistance level at $US49,000 ($68,000).
Brought to you by City Index. Access to over 4500 global markets on shares CFDs, Indices, Forex & Crypto with a trusted provider.