Global stocks were slightly higher on Friday, amid caution on global growth with the market focus largely attuned to the start of first-quarter corporate earnings.
However, the investors are relieved after talks between EU leaders and British Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this week culminated in a “flexible extension” of the UK’s departure from the bloc until October 31.
An important topic for investors is the analyze over the latest Fed meeting minutes. The US Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida told on Thursday that officials at the central bank see no reason to move interest rates in either direction at present.
Asian markets recap
Most of the stock indexes in the Asia-Pacific ended the last trading session of the week with increases against Chinese trade data for March.
In China, the mainland index Shanghai Composite fell by 0.04% to 3,188.63 points, while the Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng wiped out 73.04 points, or 0.24%, ending the day at 29,766.41 points. Chinese exports in March rose by more than 14% on an annual basis, which is more than expected by analysts, while imports fell by 7.6%. Thus, the trade surplus of the country has reached 32.64 billion USD. The analysts warn that Chinese data are often highly volatile at the beginning of the year due to the long holidays for the Lunar New Year.
In Japan, the blue-chip index Nikkei 225 advanced by 159.18 points, or 0.73%, to 21,870.56 points. The stocks of Fast Retailing rose by nearly 8%. Panasonic shares added 2.75% to its value after on Thursday, the company confirmed that it was freezing its joint venture with the US-based car company Tesla. The technology company also plans to withdraw its planned investments at Tesla’s Shanghai plant, where both electric cars and batteries will be produced.
In South Korea, the index Kospi rose by 0.41% to 2,233.45 points. Samsung Electronics’s stock rose by 1.30%, while Posco wiped out 1.93% of its value.
Australian index S&P ASX 200 rose by 52.60 points, or 0.85%, to 6,251.30 points. The shares of BHP Billiton declined by 1.14% while those of Sundance Energy Australia wiped out 1.89% of their value.
European markets mid-session recap
German index DAX 30 is rising by 60.22 points, or 0.5%, to 11,995.42 points at 11:36 GMT. The stocks of Deutsche Bank rose by 1.88% amid cooling speculation for the rapid merger with Commerzbank. The shares of the automakers Volkswagen and Daimler rose by 1.8% each.
French stocks are also on the uptrend on Friday with CAC 40 rising by 0.3% to 5,501.52 points at mid-session. The shares of Airbus appreciated by 1.5%, while those of automakers Peugeot and Renault added more than 2% each.
The British index FTSE 100 recovered and returned to growth, adding 27.21 points, or 0.37%, to 7,445.16 points. Plus500 slumped more than 25% and hit its lowest level in almost two years after its quarterly revenue plummeted to below a fifth of a year earlier. It took a hit from less market volatility creating fewer trading opportunities and new rules affecting retail clients. Miners Rio Tinto and Glencore added more than 1% and were the biggest gainers as copper prices rebounded.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures were higher on Friday morning, as market participants awaited the start of earnings season.
At around 07:05 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose by 175 points, indicating a positive open of more than 166 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both into the gree with an expected positive start of the trading session by 13.63 points and 30.61 points.
The investors will focus on the import prices for March and consumer sentiment figures for April, which will be published at 8:30 a.m. ET and 10:00 a.m. ET, respectively.