Global markets came out fighting on Friday after getting beaten up this week over heightened anxiety about a summer rate hike in the US. Markets are alive to the G7 meeting in Japan in the unlikely event that finance ministers put differences aside for a coordinated effort to revive global growth.
A late spring-back in oil prices on Thursday has followed through to Friday and is playing its part in repairing damaged market sentiment. The surprise build in weekly oil inventories was offset by lower US production so the weakness in oil over the past two days has largely been as a result of dollar strength. With the US dollar now pairing gains, Brent crude can have another run at the psychologically significant price of $50 per barrel.
A new letter from British entertainment stars backing Britain remaining in the EU has had minimal impact on markets. It’s probably fair to say traders are ignoring the latest celebrity intervention on the Brexit debate. Though the British pound was due a pullback at the end of what’s set to be its best week in nine months.
Mining and financial companies topped the FTSE 100 in a return to risk-on sentiment where at one point every single stock was higher on Friday. Paddy Power Betfair was a notable underperformer on the UK benchmark index on news rivals Ladbrokes and Coral might be forced to sell 400 stores to get the merger through. Travel and leisure stocks pared some of yesterday’s losses as rescuers search for the lost Egyptian airliner.
Tobacco companies brushed off the first day of enforcement of the new plain packaging and vaping laws. Shares of British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands both saw gains in excess of 1%.
US stocks look set for a higher open amid a rise in oil prices and stronger global sentiment ahead of the release of existing homes sales data and comments from the Fed’s Daniel Tarullo. Shares of Gap are expected to open higher after the clothing retailer announced it is closing stores.
USA pre-opening levels
S&P 500: 6 points higher at 2,046
Dow Jones: 51 points higher at 17,486
Nasdaq 100: 17 points higher at 4,332
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