In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 ended up 1%, reaching a fresh record high. Basic resources stocks jumped 2.3% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses traded in positive territory. NMC Health’s London-listed stock jumped 9.1% after the Abu Dhabi-based hospital chain retained former FBI director Louis Freeh to conduct an independent investigation of its business, in response to allegations raised by U.S. activist short seller Muddy Waters.
In Currency Markets the safe-haven Japanese yen weakened on Friday as record high stocks showed stronger risk appetite, while the greenback gained against the euro after data on Thursday showed solid U.S. economic momentum. The yen rose as high as 110.28, the highest since May, before falling back to 110.10. The offshore Chinese yuan also strengthened as far as 6.8567, the strongest since July. The euro was last down 0.32% at $1.1099.
In Commodities Markets oil prices edged higher on Friday but were little changed on the week as sluggish economic growth in China, the world’s biggest crude importer, raised concerns over fuel demand and countered optimism from the signing of a China-U.S. trade deal. The world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.1% in 2019, its slowest expansion in 29 years, government data showed on Friday. Brent crude futures were up 26 cents at $64.88 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were up 21 cents at $58.73.
In US Equity Markets stock indexes edged higher to hit fresh record highs on Friday on optimism over corporate earnings, economic data and indications of resilience in a Chinese economy battered by a prolonged trade war with the United States. Google-parent Alphabet Inc rose 1%, extending gains after it became the fourth U.S. company to top a market value of more than $1 trillion on Thursday. The S&P 500 was up 0.20% at 3,323.29 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.16% to 9,371.90.
In Bond Markets Italian government bonds rallied and outperformed their euro zone peers on Friday after Italy’s highest court rejected a proposed change in electoral law that would probably have benefited the far-right League. Ten-year Italian government bond yields fell around 7 basis points to 1.37% in one of their best sessions this month, after a sell-off raised yields 5 basis points on Thursday. Most other euro zone bond yields were flat on the day, with Germany’s 10-year yield at -0.22%, below two-week highs around -0.17%.