Global stocks are trading with increases on Friday after the Bank of Japan decided to keep its monetary policy unchanged despite the mitigating optimism about the economy.
Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, as sentiment improved on a report that more progress has been made in talks between the world’s two largest economies. The US President Donald Trump said that expects the trade deal with China to be a reality in the next 3-4 weeks.
On the other hand, investors continue to look with concern to the UK, where late last night parliament voted against a new referendum on Brexit. One of the other key decisions of British MEPs was their decision to support the government’s proposal to extend the deadline on Article 50, which in practice means continuing the process after March 29. Thus, the prolongation will continue until June 30.
Asian markets recap
The main stock indexes in the Asia-Pacific ended the last session of the week with increases.
Tokyo Stock Exchange blue-chip index Nikkei 225 added 163.83 points, or 0.77%, to 21,450.85 points. Japan Central Bank (BoJ) has kept its monetary policy unchanged on Friday but has mitigated its optimism that stable exports and industrial output will support growth. This suggests the higher risks outside the country that threaten to break the fragile economic recovery. At the end of its two-day meeting on Friday, the BoJ kept short-term interest rates at -0.1% and yields on 10-year government securities around 0%.
The South Korean index Kospi rose by 0.95% to 2,176.11 points.
In China, the continental index Shanghai Composite rose by 1.04% to 3,021.75 points, while Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng advanced by 192.85 points, or 0.67% to 29,044.24 points. The optimism of Chinese investors rose after Prime Minister Li Keqiang said that tax cuts and improved business conditions are China’s response to the slowdown in the global economy. The country will not resort to credit and investment to strengthen its economy. Li Keqiang pointed out that instead, Beijing wants to “energize” the market to generate growth.
The only stock index that ended the session on the red was the Australian S&P ASX 200, which reported a decline of 0.07% to 6,175.20 points.
European markets mid-session recap
European equities opened steady, poised for the biggest weekly gain in a month, as all eyes remain on the trade talks. The UK shares climbed after Prime Minister Theresa May won some time for a final push on her rejected Brexit deal.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was up less than 0.1%, set for a 2.2% advance this week.
German stocks are fluctuating without a single direction on Friday. The index DAX started the session with a sharp increase amid positive news from Asia, but within 20 minuted sank into the red, before again returning to growth. At 09:22 GMT, DAX 30 is trading with an increase of 0.18% to 11,608.77 points. Among the winners in mid-session are the stocks of BASF (+0.7%), Bayer (+0.3%), Deutsche Telekom (+0.3%), Daimler (+0.7%), and SAP (+0.8%). However, the stocks of Adidas and Volkswagen wiped out 0.8% and 0.6% from their market value, respectively.
The French index CAC 40 is up by 0.3% to 5,367.17 points at mid-session on Friday. The stocks of automaker Renault is down by 0.2%, while those of its rival Peugeot rose by more than 1%. Airbus is also on the rise with its shares appreciating by 0.6% in mid-session.
British index FTSE 100 is rising by 0.5% to 7,222.18 at 9:30 GMT. The benchmark was supported by decent gains for commodity plays such as Antofagasta and Fresnillo, which are rising by 1.4% and 0.5%, respectively. The latter was lifted by an upsurge in the gold price, with the yellow metal rising 0.7% to 1,303.90 USD per ounce on futures markets after the terrorist attacks today in New Zealand. Reports indicate that 49 people were killed and more than 20 wounded during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures traded slightly higher on Friday morning, as investors monitored progress in Sino-American trade talks and reacted to the latest Brexit developments.
At around 05:30 a.m. ET, Dow futures traded 80 points higher, pointing to a higher open of more than 80 points. Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also seen relatively upbeat, indicating a positive open by 7 points and 26 points, recpectively.
Today, the investors will closely monitor a slew of economic data on Friday. Empire State manufacturing numbers are due at 08:30 a.m. ET, followed by industrial production numbers at 09:15 a.m. ET and consumer sentiment data at 10 a.m. ET.