In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 0.19%, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory. Europe’s media stocks led the gains, up 1.65% amid earnings news. Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES was the top performer, surging to the top of the European benchmark after the company said it had maintained its full-year outlook. Shares of the firm jumped 7.75%. Skanska fell 4.5%, after the Swedish builder posted a surprise fall in first-quarter operating earnings.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar fell against a basket of other currencies on Friday, after an overall strong U.S. first-quarter growth report was overshadowed by soft inflation data. Gross domestic product increased at a 3.2 percent annualised rate in the quarter, the Commerce Department said in its advance GDP report, released on Friday, versus the 2.0 percent estimated by economists polled by Reuters. The dollar index was 0.33% lower at 97.882. The index, which hit a 23-month high earlier in the session, is up 0.5% for the week.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Friday as the market retreated from its strongest bull run in at least a year amid efforts to resume Russian oil flows that were interrupted by contamination. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark erased gains earlier in the week following seven weeks of rises, its longest bull run since the first half of 2015. Brent crude was set for a fifth weekly gain, representing its best run for a year. Brent crude futures were at $73.09 a barrel, down $1.26. WTI crude futures were down $1.16 at $64.05.
In US Equity Markets stocks fell on Friday, as technology shares took a hit from Intel’s disappointing quarterly report, while investors assessed data that showed domestic growth was boosted by temporary factors in the first quarter. The S&P 500 was down 0.18%, at 2,920.91 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.57%, at 8,072.64. The energy sector fell 1.34%, the most among the three S&P sectors in the red. Mattel Inc jumped 7.6% after the toymaker beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue, as a more diverse range of Barbie dolls powered sales in the United States.
In Bond Markets Italy’s government bond yields fell on Friday, pulling back from recent seven-week highs, on bets that S&P Global will refrain from downgrading the country at a ratings review. In late trade, Italy’s 10-year bond yield was down nine basis points on the day at 2.59 percent, down from seven-week highs hit on Tuesday at 2.70 percent and set for its biggest daily fall in seven weeks. That pulled the Italian/German 10-year bond yield gap in from two-month highs around 271 bps.