LONDON (AFP) — World stock markets rose for the most part on Friday after a recovery on Wall Street helped to ease global recession fears.
Equities have endured another volatile week as U.S.-China trade talk hopes fade and economic data pointed to a possible worldwide downturn.
The Dow on Wednesday suffered its worst one-day fall of the year, before recovering slightly on Thursday, reassured by strong U.S. retail sales and Walmart earnings.
“We’re ending a turbulent week on a more positive note,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda trading group.
“The calendar may be a little thin (on Friday) but the yield curve inversion has spooked a lot of people this week and that may become very apparent again heading into the close.”
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond slid Wednesday below the yield on the two-year note, meaning the short-term interest rates were higher than long-term ones.
The so-called inversion phenomenon is viewed by markets as a reliable harbinger of recession.
Economists have warned for months that trade tensions would drag down investment, which was already suffering owing to China’s economic slowdown and fears of Brexit’s impact on Britain and Europe.
The tensions have already hit global demand, with data this week showing China’s industrial output had plummeted to a 17-year low. Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong were adding to the jitters.
Cathay Pacific on Friday announced the shock resignation of its chief executive Rupert Hogg, days after the Hong Kong carrier was censured by Beijing because some staff had supported pro-democracy protests in the city.
Paul Loo, Cathay’s chief customer and commercial officer, also resigned.
Until recently Cathay had been celebrating a turnaround in fortunes after Hogg initiated a three-year cost cutting program.
Elsewhere Friday, the opening of London’s benchmark FTSE 100 shares was delayed nearly two hours by a software issue, the London Stock Exchange said.
“London Stock Exchange experienced a technical software issue this morning that affected trading in certain securities, including FTSE 100 and (second-tier) FTSE 250 stocks,” a statement said.
But the pound continued its recovery, “aided by a series of better-than-expected (UK) economic releases in recent days,” helping to offset Brexit uncertainty, according to David Cheetham, chief market analyst at XTB trading group.
The euro faltered, however, on expectations that a European Central Bank stimulus program to be announced next month could be larger than expected.
Here are key figures at 1100 GMT Friday:
London – FTSE 100: Up 0.6% at 7,112.14 points
Frankfurt – DAX 30: Up 1.1% at 11,539.96
Paris – CAC 40: Up 1.1% at 5,295.26
EURO STOXX 50: Up 1.3% at 3,324.20
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Flat at 20,418.81 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: Up 0.9% at 25,734.22 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: Up 0.3% at 2,823.82 (close)
New York – Dow: Up 0.4% at 25,579.39 (close)
Euro/dollar: Down at $1.1079 from $1.1107 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: Up at $1.2161 from $1.2084
Euro/pound: Down at 91.10 pence from 91.84 pence
Dollar/yen: Up at 106.35 yen from 106.10 yen
Brent North Sea crude: Up $1.07 at $59.30 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: Up 96 cents at $55.43 per barrel
© Agence France-Presse
weakened to $1.10856 from $1.1150.