At the height of the eurozone crisis in November, both Germany and France saw their exports rise.
Germany saw its exports rise in November by 2.5 per cent while its imports dropped by 0.4 per cent. This had the effect of giving the country a trade surplus of €15 billion (£12.4 billion). The increase in exports was much greater than the 0.7 per cent increase expected by analysts.
While France saw its exports grow by 3 per cent in November meaning its deficit narrowed to €4.4 billion (£3.64 billion).
Economists believe that this data shows the countries will not have declined as much as expected at the end of 2011, but 2012 still looks like it will be tough with future orders down for companies in both countries.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Government held a conference over the weekend in which it attempted to refine its financial policy for the next five years. While no major policy announcements were made after the event, its central bank did promise pro-growth conditions this year to help entrepreneur and small- and medium-sized businesses this year.
Brent crude oil also rose this morning to $113.65 a barrel, with fears that proposed sanctions against Iran would lead to less oil exports from the country. Brent crude oil rose by 5 per cent last week. Crude on the New York Mercantile was also up to $101.67 a barrel.
Three-month copper on the LME was trading at $7,539 (£4,869) on Friday and aluminium was trading at $2,038 (£1,316). Copper was slightly down from the first day of trading of the year (3 January) from $7,679 while aluminium increased by the end of the week from $2,034.
Cotton was at $89.94 US cents per pound on Friday down only slightly in the week.