In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.6% higher with the majority of sectors and all major borses in positive territory. Mining stocks, with their exposure to China and trade news, were among the biggest gainers, jumping over 1%. French retailer Casino rose to the top of the European benchmark, with shares gaining almost 8% after a move to place parent company Rallye under protection from creditors relieved some pressure. CNH Industrial also led the gains, with its stock up close to 3% on the back of a share buyback announcement.
In Currency Markets the pound rose on Friday and was set to snap a record losing streak against the euro after British Prime Minister Theresa May set out a departure date after failing to push through a Brexit divorce deal. Against the dollar, the British currency rose as much was 0.4% higher at $1.2719 after her announcement. But it gave up much of its gains in the late European session to trade up 0.1% on day. Trading was volatile as concerns rose that she is likely to be succeeded by a eurosceptic leader, potentially increasing the chances of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
In Commodities Markets oil rose towards $69 a barrel on Friday after two sessions of losses but remained on track for its biggest weekly drop of the year, pressured by rising inventories and concern over an economic slowdown. U.S. crude inventories rose to their highest since July 2017, suggesting ample supplies in the world’s top consumer, with prices also hit by worries that the U.S.-China trade conflict is developing into a more entrenched dispute. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 75 cents to $68.51 a barrel but remained on course for a weekly decline of about 5%.
In US Equity Markets stocks gained on Friday, ahead of a long Memorial day weekend, as investors breathed a sigh of relief after President Donald Trump indicated that the protracted trade war with China could end soon. The S&P 500 was up 0.08%, at 2,824.38 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.24%, at 7,646.58. Technology shares, that were among the hardest hit this week, rose 0.27%, boosted by gains in chipmaker Intel and iPhone maker Apple Inc. Foot Locker Inc fell 16.8%, the most on the S&P, after the footwear retailer missed quarterly profit and same-store sales estimates.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Friday after sharp falls the in previous session, with investors booking profits after a surge in government bond prices and ahead of a long holiday weekend. The market is closed on Monday for Memorial Day. U.S. 10-year note yields rose to 2.332% from 2.296% late on Thursday. Yields on U.S. 30-year bonds advanced to 2.76%, from 2.732% on Thursday. On the short end of the curve, U.S. 2-year yields were up at 2.164% from Thursday's 2.129%.