In European Equity Markets the pan-European STOXX 600 climbed 0.6%, with the German DAX index rising by 1%. Most sectors were in positive territory, with only the autos sector, with its heavy exposure to China, edging below the flatline. Looking at individual stocks, metal producer Thyssenkrupp rose to the top of the European index after Reuters reported the company was considering a partial listing of its elevator business. The stock gained 21%, setting the company’s shares up for their best day in 10 years.
In Currency Markets The British pound was little changed on Friday after data showed the UK economy got a boost ahead of a Brexit that never came, with traders doubtful Prime Minister Theresa May can reach a deal with the opposition on how to leave the European Union. Sterling did rise towards the end of the European trading session, but that was largely down to broad dollar weakness. Sterling rose 0.2% to $1.3035, cutting its week-to-date losses so far to around 1.1%, although analysts were doubtful the pound’s move higher on Friday had legs.
In Commodities Markets oil prices edged up on Friday but were still set to fall over the week, as support due to supply concerns was countered by trade tensions stoked by a U.S. move to hike tariffs on Chinese goods. Brent crude oil was up 29 cents at $70.68 a barrel, having touched a peak of $71.23. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 13 cents at $61.83, having earlier hit $62.49. Both contracts were on track for weekly losses. The July Brent crude contract was trading at nearly $1 a barrel above the August contract in a market structure known as backwardation.
In US Equity Markets stocks fell at open on Friday, as investors fretted over the possibility that the trade dispute between the United States and China may persist, even as the two sides held last-minute talks to salvage a deal. The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.27%, at 2,863.10. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.37%, to 7,881.31 at the opening bell. Shares of technology and industrial companies including Apple, Micron, Microsoft and Caterpillar were among the biggest losers with Beijing promising retaliation.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on Friday, with longer-dated yields hovering at five-week lows on demand for low-risk bonds spurred by worries about trade tension between China and the United States and data that showed domestic inflation remains tame. Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were down 0.4 basis point at 2.4529%. They fell to a five-week low at 2.424% on Thursday. On the week, 10-year yields were on track to fall 8 basis points, the steepest drop in seven weeks.