Data released today showed that manufacturing activity in the United States has risen to its highest level in more than 13 years.

Figures from IHS Markit showed that flash U.S. manufacturing PMI increased to a reading of 59.1 this month, which is the highest since May 2007. This comes as analysts had forecasted the index would slip to 56.5 in early January.

Despite this, U.S. indices were down on Friday across the board, after trading at all-time highs on Thursday.

As of writing the benchmark S&P 500 was down 0.16%.

FTSE 100 falls despite lower COVID-19 infections

The British government today confirmed that the number of coronavirus infections was falling, however it still warned that more steps need to be taken to prevent further setbacks.

The “R” measure used to track infections showed that that the whole of the UK is between 0.8 and 1.0, down from a range of 1.2 to 1.3 last week, meaning that on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 10 other people.

News of this comes a day after it was reported that the nationwide had experienced its largest daily death toll since the outbreak.

UK’s FTSE 100 index closed 0.30% lower on Friday as a result.

Oil prices fall as stockpiles increase

 Crude oil prices fell on Friday as data released by the Energy Information Administration showed that stockpiles of the energy had risen.

Figures show that inventories rose to 4.35 million barrels, which was higher than expectations of 1.16 million barrels. 

Prices of WTI crude fell to an intraday low of $51.44 after trading as high as $53.16 earlier in today’s session.

Many now look to OPEC for any potential changes to production in February.

Quote of the day – “Hope is [a] bogus emotion that only costs you money.”

Jim Cramer

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Eliman Dambel

Senior Market Analyst