LONDON (AFP) – Europe s major stock markets were mixed at the end of the trading session on Friday, while prices on Wall Street were firmer on better-than-expected retail sales data, dealers said.
After slipping briefly into the red earlier, Europe s main stock indices seemed fo find a floor as they headed into the weekend, buoyed by higher stock prices in New York.
US retail sales jumped 1.6 percent in September due to strong trade in cars, car parts and fuel following US hurricanes, Commerce Department data showed.
And US consumer price data revealed that soaring fuel prices drove US inflation to an eight-month high in September.
Nevertheless, the spike in gasoline prices was likely tied to Hurricane Harvey and stripped of such volatile factors, core inflation remained tame, the data showed.
The dollar fell as a result, pushing stock prices on Wall Street higher.
In Frankfurt, the German blue-chip DAX index, ended just short of the 13,000-point mark, which it had breached for the first time on Thursday.
The CAC 40 index in Paris was fractionally lower and London s benchmark FTSE 100 index of top blue-chip companies eased 0.3 percent, after hitting a record closing peak the previous day.
“Although US consumer prices rose 0.5 percent, the largest increase seen in eight months on the back of rising gasoline prices, underlying inflation remained subdued,” said FXTM analyst, Lukman Otunuga.
“While markets are still expecting the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December, concerns over prolonged periods of depressed inflation may cloud the prospect of higher US interest rates in 2018.”
London stocks had been catapulted Thursday to an all-time closing pinnacle on the weak pound, which boosts earnings of exporters.
Sterling initially sank after EU negotiator Michel Barnier warned that Britain and Brussels are stuck in a “disturbing” deadlock over the Brexit divorce bill.
However, the currency then rebounded as German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Britain could be given a two-year extension to complete Brexit.
The British unit continued to regain its composure on Friday.
“Sterling is on quite the rollercoaster ride, recovering from Michel Barnier s disturbing deadlock comments thanks to a report in Handelsblatt,” noted Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
Transitional Brexit deal?
“Yesterday afternoon s pound-plunge was sizable enough to send the FTSE to a fresh all-time closing high,” the expert said.
“Yet by the evening, the currency had clawed back its losses, and then some, after Handelsblatt claimed the EU are prepared to offer the UK a two-year transitional deal, where the latter would meet all of its financial obligations but give up its voting rights,” Campbell said.
There were cautious gains in Asia on Friday after an underwhelming session overnight in New York, but Tokyo pushed ahead after hitting a 21-year high earlier in the week.
World oil prices rebounded sharply Friday on bullish trade data in China, which is the world s top energy consuming nation.
Crude futures also pushed higher before US President Donald Trump s speech later Friday, when he is expected to unveil a more aggressive strategy to check the growing power of key OPEC oil producer Iran.
Key figures around 1545 GMT
New York – DOW: UP 0.1 percent at 22,867.94 points
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,535.44 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.1 percent at 12,991.87 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 5,351.74 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 3,604.55 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 21,155.18 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.1 percent at 28,476.43 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 3,390.52 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1836 from $1.1866
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3292 from $1.3308
Dollar/yen: UP at 111.93 yen from 111.77 yen
Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 80 cents at $57.05 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 71 cents at $51.31