European stocks take a breather after strong rally

LONDON — European stock markets eased slightly Friday after a strong rally saw many indexes strike multi-week highs. Wall Street was poised for further solid gains at the open despite ongoing geopolitical unease related to President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC 40 was down 0.3 percent at 5,520 while Germany's DAX also fell 0.3 percent to 12,986. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.1 percent lower at 7,696. U.S. stocks are expected to open higher with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.3 percent.

STOCKS IN VOGUE: Stocks around the world have been in demand this past week, partly because general risk appetite has improved in spite of Trump's move on Iran. That suggests that investors are fairly positive on the outlook for stocks, certainly a contrast to earlier in the year. Soft U.S. inflation data have helped, reining in expectations of aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. U.S. consumer prices rose a modest 0.2 percent in April, indicating that that broader inflation pressure in the world's No. 1 economy remains muted. High oil prices have also helped boost the share prices of oil companies.

ANALYST TAKE: "It is worth noting that global equity markets remain highly sensitive to geopolitics and speculation of higher interest rates," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM. "Risks in the form of escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and other forms of uncertainties could still create headwinds for the markets at any time."

ASIAN SCORECARD: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.2 percent to close at 22,758.48 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.6 percent to 2,477.71. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.0 percent to 31,122.06 but the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.4 percent to 3,163.26. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent lower to 6,116.20. Indexes in Taiwan's and Southeast Asia were higher.

ENERGY: Oil futures were trading near their highest level since 2014 as President Donald Trump's decision this week to re-impose sanctions Iran, the world's fifth-biggest oil producer, reverberated. Benchmark U.S. crude oil was steady at $71.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 19 cents to $77.28.

CURRENCIES: The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.1934 while the dollar fell 0.1 percent to 109.25 yen.

Canada tests 'basic income' effect on poverty...

Nov 29, 2017

Canadian authorities are engaged in an unusual experiment in which a basic minimum income with no...

Deaths of Canadian billionaire, wife a...

Jan 22, 2018

The deaths of one of Canada's wealthiest men and his wife remain a tantalizing mystery

Indigenous, environmental leaders protest Canada...

Mar 10, 2018

Indigenous people and environmental activists are converging in Vancouver Saturday to protest a...

The Latest: Indigenous leaders begin...

Mar 10, 2018

Thousands of demonstrators are marching Saturday morning to speak out against a pipeline expansion...

Manfred encouraged by impact of mound visit rules

Apr 25, 2018

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred 'positive' about impact of mound visits rule change, shorter inning...

Financial Markets

Market Sanctum is one of the world’s leading news sources for the currency trading community. Our analysts report on the latest changes in the current market, providing in-depth analysis.

Contact us: sales[at]marketsanctum.com