BANGKOK (AP) – Stocks opened higher in Europe on Friday after a mixed day of trading in Asia, where rising coronavirus cases and risks to recovery from a pandemic hit sentiment.
Stocks rose in Paris, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, but fell in Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. US futures rose, while oil prices fell.
The Bank of Japan kept its policy setup intact on Friday, but slightly lowered its growth forecast for the current fiscal year, to 3.5% -4% from 3.5% -4.4%. He said the outlook for the world’s No. 3 economy was “very unclear” and depends on how the COVID-19 situation develops.
Tokyo reported a high number of new cases in six months on Thursday, 1,308, just over a week before the Olympics begin a year later than originally planned due to the pandemic. Since the majority of its population is not fully vaccinated, many in Japan fear that the Olympics will increase the risks of more outbreaks at a time when the delta variant of COVID-19 is causing outbreaks around the world.
In European trading, the DAX in Germany added 0.2% to 15,662.78 and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.3% to 6,515.42. Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.6% to 7,050.95.
The future of the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1%, while the S&P 500 was largely unchanged.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 Index lost 1% to 28,003.08, while Seoul’s Kospi was down 0.3% to 3,276.91. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7% to 3,539.30. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3% to 28,072.66. In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 was up 0.2% to 7,348.10.
Adding to the uncertainty, President Joe Biden told reporters Thursday that his administration was preparing to issue a blanket warning to American companies about the risks of doing business in Hong Kong as China cracks down on political and economic freedoms. in the territory.
US officials say the advisory could be issued as soon as this week.
On Thursday, the major US stock indices mostly closed, retreating further from the all-time highs they reached at the beginning of the week.
The S&P 500 fell 0.3% to 4,360.03 and is awaiting its first weekly loss in four weeks.
The high-tech Nasdaq fell 0.7% to 14,543.13. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.2% to 34,987.02. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks lost 0.6% to 2,190.29.
Investors are watching where the economy is heading as the pandemic subsides and what companies have to say about how higher inflation is affecting their businesses.
On Thursday, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell delivered his second day of testimony before Congress. He reiterated that signs of inflation should ease or reverse over time, as the United States emerges from an unprecedented economic reopening following the pandemic-induced recession.
New data on claims for unemployment benefits indicated that the labor market continues to improve. The Labor Department said Thursday that Unemployment Claims It fell by 26,000 last week to 360,000, the lowest level since the pandemic struck last year.
Many companies will start reporting next week when earnings season is in full swing.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.33% from 1.30% late Thursday.
In other trading on Friday, US benchmark crude oil lost 6 cents to $ 71.59 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday it fell $ 1.48 to $ 71.65 a barrel. Brent crude, the international price standard, lost 8 cents to $ 73.39 a barrel.
The US dollar rose to 110.19 Japanese yen from 109.85 yen. The euro fell to $ 1.1801 from $ 1.1813.
Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press