- Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach
- Asian shares jumped and European stocks soared, capping a tumultuous week of holiday trading in global stock markets. Gold reached a six-month high.
- European indexes have been battered more than the US this year, with worries about trade, Italy’s budget crisis, and rising interest rates weighing on sentiment.
The Euro Stoxx 50 and most major regional benchmarks posted gains of at least 1.2% in the first hours of trading on Friday, following a 0.4% rise in the Shanghai Composite Index. Gold reached a six-month high as investors fled to safety during a volatile week in markets.
The increases come after a sharp rebound in US trading on Thursday, where stocks erased sharp losses in a choppy trading session a day after a dramatic rally led Wall Street to its largest percentage gains in nearly a decade.
European indexes have been battered this year, even more than the brutal year for US investors in 2018, with worries about Germany’s economy, France’s “yellow vest” protests, and Italy’s budget crisis weighing on sentiment. The worries added to external factors including the US-China trade war and rising interest rates.
“It is certainly too early for any celebrations,” said Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst at FXTM. “With investor appetite for riskier assets seen diminishing amid the unfavorable market conditions, global equity markets remain vulnerable to downside shocks.”
Here’s the roundup:
- In the US, major index futures are flat, hovering between slight gains and losses before volume picks up in New York early trading.
- In Europe, there are big gains across the board. The main benchmark, the Euro Stoxx 50, is leading surrounding regional indexes with rallies of 1.4% or higher. European shares missed the big rallies in the US this week.
- In Asia, Chinese and Hong Kong stocks gained, but the Nikkei fell slightly, posting a 0.3% decline.
- Gold reached a six-month high, as investors spooked by zigzag moves in stock markets sought a safe haven
- Brent oil jumped 2%, while the dollar was flat against a basket of currencies.