On the way to the winning week
LONDON — European stocks were cautious on Friday as global markets headed for a positive week, with fears of monetary policy tightening easing slightly.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 0.2% at the start of trade, with basic resources adding 1.5% to leading gains while utilities slipped 1%.
Swedish cloud computing firm Sinch jumped more than 9% to top the index, while British-South African wealth management firm Investec fell 6%.
European markets closed higher on Thursday, benefiting from a boost after UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced a series of measures to tackle the country’s cost of living crisis, including a so-called “windfall tax” on the profits of oil and gas giants. .
Thursday also marked the end of the World Economic Forum, where the world’s leading financiers, politicians and businesses gathered in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss issues facing the global economy. Some grim predictions have been made, particularly for Europe, which many economists see as vulnerable to recession.
U.S. stock futures were slightly lower in premarket trading on Friday after a strong previous session on Wall Street put the S&P 500 on track to snap a seven-week losing streak.
Asia-Pacific stocks advanced on Friday, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumping around 3%. Tech giant Alibaba soared after the company reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter results.
Markets also remain alert to the conflict in Ukraine, with a US official saying Russia is making “gradual progress” in the Donbass region.
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed overnight that it would allow foreign ships to leave Black Sea and Sea of Azov ports, according to state news agency Interfax, amid concerns growing concerns about the rise in world food prices.
On the data front, final French GDP figures for the first quarter are due out on Friday, along with Spanish retail sales figures for April.
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