European stock markets traded higher Friday, helped by the rebound on Wall Street as Federal Reserve officials managed to ease investor jitters over growing inflationary pressures.
Markets in Europe have benefited from a strong handover from Wall Street, with the broad-based S&P 500 recording its biggest percentage gain in over a month, and then Asia, as global stocks bounced after three straight days of selling.
Federal Reserve officials have been out in force reiterating that price pressures from the reopening of the economy would prove transitory, and the central bank wouldn’t be changing its ultra easy monetary policies anytime soon.
Back in Europe, Spanish CPI rose 2.2% on the year in April, suggesting inflation pressures on the continent are nowhere near the levels seen in the U.S.
Toshiba (OTC:TOSYY) could be in the spotlight Friday after Reuters reported that the Japanese firm’s European business has been hit by a cyberattack, while Ireland's health service operator shut down all its IT systems to protect it from what it described as a significant ransomware attack.
Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RKT) stock edged 0.2% higher after Reuters reported the British consumer goods company has shortlisted a number of bidders to submit binding offers for its infant formula business in China. London trading also saw a sell-off in red-hot mining stocks as Iron ore and Copper Futures tumbled in Asia: Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) stock fell 2.4% while BHP Group (LON:BHPB) stock fell 2.1%.
Atlantia (MI:ATL) stock fell 1.4% after the Italian infrastructure group reported a first-quarter net loss and confirmed that it would make a decision on the sale of a majority stake in its motorway unit by June.
Danone (PA:DANO) stock slipped 1.8% after influential investment bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) downgraded its stance on the French food group to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’, citing weaker demographic trends, particularly in China.
Oil prices stabilized Friday as traders digested the return to operations of the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in India, the third largest oil consumer in the world, and a broadly positive assessment of the outlook for demand growth from the International Energy Agency earlier in the week.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% lower at $63.76 a barrel, having fallen 3.4% on Thursday, the biggest drop in more than a month. The Brent contract fell 0.2% to $66.92. Both contracts have fallen around 2% this week.