U.S. Consumer Confidence Rose in December

Following the rise in the U.S consumer confidence index during November, this index inclined again in December.

According to the recent U.S. consumer confidence survey, the consumer confidence index rose in December compared with November’s index: The index reached in December to 64.5 (1985=100) an increase from 55.2 in November. American consumers’ short term outlook in U.S. business conditions has also improved according to the report. Furthermore, the consumers’ assessment of current day conditions also improved in December.

Please note that this report was based on a survey conducted up to December 14th. During that time, the market conditions were positive in terms of stock markets, and major commodities. In the past couple of weeks the situation seems to have further improved in the financial markets compared to the beginning of the month, (e.g. the American stock markets indexes declined) so that it may continue to positively affect the January survey.

This consumer confidence index may curb the recent downward trend of natural gas prices: according to a paper prepared by Roache et. al (2008) on the influence of American financial news on natural gas prices, there was a positive significant correlation between the “consumer confidence” news and natural gas prices i.e. this news has a positive linear affect on natural gas prices. Furthermore, the paper also suggested positive significant coefficient between this news and crude oil prices.

Currently major energy commodities are rising:

Current Nymex crude oil price, short term futures (January 2012 delivery) is traded up by 1.28% to $100.96 per barrel as of 18:06*.

Current gold price, short term futures (January 2012 delivery) is traded at $1,591.8 per t oz. a $14.2 decrease as of 18:00*.

Euros to US dollar exchange rate is currently traded down at 1.3074 a 0.094% increase as of 18:10*.

(* GMT)

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