In European Equity Markets stocks edged higher on Friday, ending the week in positive territory thanks to corporate earnings and robust basic resources stocks, though declines among Italian banks led that sector to its worst week since November. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent and set for a weekly gain of 0.9 percent that brought it close to a 13-month peak hit in January. Shares in ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, which rose 9.3 percent after posting a higher-than-expected quarterly core profit. Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna, was the top European faller, down 7.8 percent reporting a plunge in net income late on Thursday. UBI Banca fell 5.7 percent after it posted a 2016 net loss of 830.2 billion euros.
In Currency Markets the dollar gained on Friday on expectations of a constructive meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, while Trump’s comments on tax reform Thursday continued to support the greenback. The euro touched $1.0608, its lowest level against the dollar since Jan. 19, while the dollar touched 113.85 yen, its highest against the Japanese currency since Feb. 1. The dollar hit its lowest level against the Russian rouble since late July 2015 of 58.4486 roubles. Sterling fell 0.22 percent to $1.2469. The Australian dollar was up 0.60 percent at $0.7669. The dollar index rose as much as 0.3 percent to an 11-day high of 101.010.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose nearly 2 percent on Friday after reports that OPEC members delivered more than 90 percent of the output cuts they pledged in a landmark deal that took effect in January. Supply from the 11 members of the OPEC with production targets under the deal fell to 29.921 million barrels per day, according to the average assessments of the six secondary sources OPEC uses to monitor output, or a 92 percent compliance. Brent crude was up 1.92 percent, at $56.70 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded up 1.87 percent, at $53.99 a barrel. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,227.33 an ounce and spot silver was up 0.5 percent at $17.73 an ounce.
In US Equity Markets stocks hit record highs on Friday as investors cheered President Donald Trump’s vow to unveil a major tax reform plan in the coming weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.36 percent, at 20,244.75, the S&P 500 was up 0.22 percent, at 2,313.06 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.21 percent, at 5,727.21. Activision Blizzard rose 17 percent and gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500. The videogame maker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and a $1 billion share buyback program. Skechers USA was up 22 percent after its fourth-quarter revenue beat expectations. Mead Johnson was up 4.7 percent after Reckitt Benckiser finalised a $16.6 billion deal to buy the infant formula maker.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Friday, boosted by solid U.S. monthly import price data as investors awaited headlines from a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese President Shinzo Abe. Benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields rose to a session high of 2.43 percent after the release of the imports data, which showed prices increased 0.4 percent in January after an upwardly revised 0.5 percent rise in December. The 10-year note was last down 7/32 in price to yield 2.42 percent.