In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 ended flat, with sectors pointing in different directions. Autos were the worst performing sector, as former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn was indicted on two new charges of financial misconduct. Shares of Renault, which Ghosn still heads, fell 2.75 percent. U.K. house-builder Taylor Wimpey rose 5.8 percent after a broker upgrade. The Swiss company Straumann was also among the top performers, gaining 3.8 percent after Reuters reported that its CEO wants to increase sales five-fold within a decade.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar rose against the euro on Friday in choppy trading, boosted by technical factors after the single currency hit key resistance levels, even as the greenback’s outlook remained bleak amid cautious signals from the Federal Reserve about further rate hikes. In mid-morning U.S. trading, the dollar index rose 0.2 percent to 95.715, with the euro falling 0.3 percent to $1.1467. The dollar was also slightly higher versus the yen at 108.45 yen, and up versus the Canadian dollar, which fell 0.2 percent. The greenback last traded at C$1.3265.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell nearly 2 percent on Friday but were on track for weekly gains after financial markets strengthened on hopes the United States and China may soon resolve their trade dispute. Tightened supply following OPEC-led crude production cuts aided earlier 1 percent increases for both oil benchmarks, but concerns about the global economy kept markets in check. International Brent crude futures were at $60.55 per barrel, down $1.13, or 1.83 percent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 87 cents to $51.72 per barrel.
In US Equity Markets a five-day rally in U.S. stocks ran out of steam on Friday as investors booked profits and reset their positions ahead of the earning season set to begin next week. The S&P 500 was down 0.50 percent, at 2,583.64 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.46 percent, at 6,953.70. S&P energy index fell 1 percent. Activision Blizzard Inc fell 11.8 percent, leading the decliners on the S&P 500, after the video game publisher transferred full publishing rights for its “Destiny” game franchise to video game developer Bungie.
In Bond Markets Italian government bond yields fell on Friday following the successful sale of 6.5 billion euros ($7.5 billion) of its debt, wrapping up the busiest week for euro zone bond issuance in three years. Euro zone governments have issued over 35 billion euros of bonds via auction and syndications this week, which is the highest weekly volume in three years. In Italy, bond yields extended their falls after the auction with five-year yields falling to a one-week low at 1.80 percent . Ten-year bond yields were last down 3 bps at 2.86 percent.