The Australian stock market lifted on Friday for a third straight session on the back of strength in the energy sector. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.7%.
Asian stocks traded mostly higher on Friday as data showing a slowdown in U.S. inflation helped calm worries over the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike trajectory. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed up 0.93%. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 1.01% while the Shenzhen Component rose 1.19% after China’s December exports and imports slumped less than expected. Bucking the overall uptrend, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 1.25% lower, as a surging yen weighed on exporters.
Major European stock markets opened the last session of the week in positive territory on favorable US infation print and as investors digested better-than-expected data from the United Kingdom. London’s FTSE 100 increased by 0.22% at the opening bell, while the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.13%. Frankfurt’s DAX stood flat, and the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.10%.
European markets closed higher Friday, building on gains from the previous session, hovering near a nine-month high, following an upbeat batch of economic data reports. Both the United Kingdom and Eurozone trade deficits shrunk, while eurozone’s industrial production increased 1% and the UK GDP rose 0.1%.
The DAX added 0.19% at the close, the FTSE 100 finished with a 0.64% gain, the CAC 40 closed up 0.69%. The Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 0.58%.
Major stock market indices in the United States turned to losses on Friday following the release of major banks’ fourth-quarter earnings. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 282 points, or 0.8%, while S&P 500 futures slid 1%. Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 1.1%.
Oil prices rose Friday and were on track for strong weekly gains. Brent crude futures rose 76 cents, or 0.9%, to $84.79 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 80 cents, or 1%, to $79.19, according to Reuters.
Gold prices firmed above the key $1,900 level on Friday, hitting their highest since late April. Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,905.19 per ounce. The metal has risen 2.1% so far in the week, heading for a fourth straight weekly gain. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,907.90, according to Reuters.
At 8:56 am CET, both the euro and the pound traded unchanged against the dollar to sell for 1.08459 and 1.22129, respectively.
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