In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed off by 0.54 percent with most sectors and major bourses in the red. Looking at individual stocks, Wirecard fell to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after police in Singapore said they had raided the German payments firm’s premises in the city state. Shares fell 12.31 percent. Ocado shares jumped nearly 4 percent, close to the top of the European benchmark after a devastating fire at its flagship packing and distribution complex was extinguished. The firm had said earlier this week that the blaze would hit sales growth.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar held steady against a basket of currencies on Friday, keeping it on track for its strongest weekly gain in six months, as traders piled into the greenback in a safe-haven move on worries about a weakening global economy. The euro hovered at a two-week low with support at $1.13. The single currency was briefly set for its steepest weekly decline in four months earlier on Friday in the wake of data that showed. The euro was down 0.05 percent at $1.13320, putting its weekly decline at about 0.9 percent.
In Commodities Markets benchmark Brent oil prices inched up on Friday but were heading for a weekly loss, pulled down by worries about a global economic slowdown, although OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against Venezuela provided crude with some support. International Brent crude futures had erased earlier losses, gaining 24 cents to $61.87 per barrel. On the week, they were set for a loss of around 1.4 percent. U.S. WTI crude futures hovered between negative and positive territory, down 9 cents at $52.55 per barrel and looking at a 4.9 percent weekly fall, their steepest this year.
In US Equity Markets technology shares pulled Wall Street lower on Friday, as skepticism over the United States and China reaching a trade deal before a looming deadline added to investor nerves over slowing global growth. The trade-sensitive industrials shed 0.39 percent as plane-maker Boeing Co lost 0.9 percent and also weighed on the blue-chip Dow index. Chip stocks, which get a huge chunk of their revenue from China, also slipped. The Philadelphia chip index lost 1.07 percent. The S&P 500 was down 0.49 percent, at 2,692.89 and the Nasdaq Composite fall 0.64 percent, at 7,242.06.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell for a fourth straight session on Friday, weighed down by global equity market losses on concerns that there would be no trade deal between the United States and China by the March 1 deadline. U.S. 30-year yields fell to one-month lows, while those on two-year and 10-year notes slid to one-week troughs. U.S. 10-year note yields fell to 2.635 percent, from 2.654 percent late on Thursday. U.S. 30-year bond yields were also down, at 2.985 percent , from 3.006 percent on Thursday.