In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.78 percent percent on Friday trade, with every sector but telecoms in the red. All major European bourses were in negative territory too. Vonovia was a top performer in Europe after reporting strong full-year results, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, shares of GVC fell about 12 percent after its chairman and CEO sold shares of the firm. Commerzbank stock fell 2 percent, while Deutsche Bank was 1.4 percent lower. Reports emerged on Friday that their CEOs had resumed merger talks.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar fell against most major currencies on Friday as data showed U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than forecast in February, although the jobless rate fell and wages grew more than expected. The Swedish crown fell to a 16-year low, as Riksbank joined its central bank counterparts in Europe and Canada in adopting a cautious outlook. The common currency rose 0.35 percent to $1.1232, rebounding from a 20-month low of $1.11765 reached on Thursday. Among other G10 currencies, the Swedish crown hit 9.4890 on Friday, its weakest since August 2002.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell about 3 percent on Friday and were set for a second straight week of declines after disappointing U.S. job growth revived concerns about a slowing global economy and weaker demand for oil. With rising U.S. oil supply also unsettling markets, Brent crude futures fell $1.85, or 2.8 percent, to $64.45 a barrel. The international benchmark was on track to fall about 1 percent for the week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.75, or 3.1 percent, to $54.91 a barrel. WTI was set to fall 1.5 percent for the week.
In US Equity Markets indices fell on Friday, after data showed U.S. job growth almost stalled in February, adding to concerns of a slowdown in global growth sparked by weak China export data and a prolonged slowdown in the eurozone. The S&P 500 was down 0.62 percent, at 2,731.79 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.49 percent, at 7,385.35. The energy sector tumbled 2.43 percent as oil prices fell. Oil majors ExxonMobil Corp and Chevron Corp fell about 1.5 percent each. Big U.S. banks pared their losses.
In Bond Markets Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond yield took a step closer to zero percent on Friday as weak economic data from Europe’s biggest economy and China reinforced the dovish stance from the European Central Bank a day earlier. French 10-year bond yields also hit their lowest since 2016 at around 0.40 percent, before closing at around 0.41 percent. Italy’s 10-year bond yield rose 2 bps to 2.51 percent. But it is down 23 bps this week and set for its biggest weekly decline since September.