In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 0.3%, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory. France’s Alten jumped 4% after reporting a better-than-expected operating margin in the first six months of the year. Investec fell to the bottom of the index after issuing a profit warning. The Anglo-South African financial services firm said first-half profit would be lower than a year earlier due to a rise in restructuring costs. Global trade tensions and Brexit uncertainty have also weighed on the company. Investec shares fell over 8%.
In Currency Markets the Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as the greenback broadly climbed and domestic data showed that retail sales rose less than expected in July. Canadian retail sales were up 0.4% in July from June, advancing for the first time in three months, on stronger sales of new cars at motor vehicle and parts dealers, Statistics Canada said. Analysts had forecast a 0.6% increase in overall sales. The Canadian dollar was trading 0.2% lower at 1.3285 to the greenback, or 75.27 U.S. cents.
In Commodities Markets oil prices were on track for their biggest weekly jump since January, lifted by rising Middle East tensions after a key Saudi Arabian supply hub was knocked out by an attack last weekend. A Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation north of Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah while the United States worked with Middle East and European nations to build a coalition to deter Iranian threats after the Saudi attack. Brent crude was up more than 7% from last Friday’s close, the biggest weekly rise since January.
In US Equity Markets stocks rose on Friday as an interest rate cut by China’s central bank and signs of co-operation on trade between the world’s two largest economies allayed concerns over global growth. Netflix Inc fell 3.5% as Evercore ISI said recent data checks painted an uncertain picture of the streaming service provider’s international subscriber growth. The S&P 500 was up 0.25%, at 3,014.22. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.13%, at 8,193.52. Roku Inc fell 9.5% after Pivotal Research started coverage of its shares with a “sell” rating.
In Bond Markets Germany’s government bond yields fell on Friday, with 10-year borrowing costs dipping to one-week lows following news that a climate package would be financed without new debt. Most bond yields across the bloc were lower on renewed friction in the Middle East and as a cut in a key Chinese lending rate bolstered demand for fixed income. German bond yields were 1-2 basis points (bps) lower across the curve. Germany’s 10-year Bund yield dipped to -0.526% , its lowest in a week.