Shares opened higher in Europe on Friday after a mixed trading day in Asia, where rising coronavirus cases and risks of a pandemic recovery weighed on sentiment.
Shares rose in Paris, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, but fell in Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. US futures rose slightly, while oil prices fell.
The Bank of Japan kept its political parameters intact on Friday, but lowered its growth forecast slightly for the current 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 depended on how the COVID-19 situation developed.
Tokyo on Thursday reported 1,308 a high number of new cases in 6 months, just over a week before the start of the Olympics a year later than originally expected due to the pandemic. With most of its population not fully vaccinated, many Japanese fear the Olympics will increase the risk of further outbreaks as the delta variant of COVID-19 is causing outbreaks around the world.
In European trading, the German DAX gained 0.2% to 15,662.78 and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.3% to 6,515.42. The UK FTSE 100 jumped 0.6% to 7,050.95.
The future of the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1% while that of the S&P 500 was almost unchanged.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 1% to 28,003.08 while Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.3% to 3,276.91. The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 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 on Thursday his administration was preparing to issue a general warning to U.S. companies about the risks of doing business in Hong Kong as China clamps down on political and economic freedoms on the territory.
US officials say the notice could be released as early as this week.
On Thursday, major US stock indexes closed for the most part, retreating further from record highs they reached earlier in the week.
The S&P 500 fell 0.3% to 4,360.03 and is poised to experience its first weekly loss in four weeks.
The tech-rich Nasdaq slipped 0.7% to 14,543.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2% to 34,987.02. The Russell 2000 Small Cap Index fell 0.6% to 2,190.29.
Investors are watching where the economy is heading as the pandemic subsides and what businesses have to say about how rising inflation is affecting their businesses.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered his second day of testimony to Congress on Thursday. He reiterated that signs of inflation are expected to ease or reverse over time as the United States emerges from an unprecedented economic reopening following the pandemic-induced recession.
New data on unemployment benefit claims indicate that the labor market continues to improve. The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless claims fell from 26,000 last week to 360,000, the lowest level since the pandemic struck last year.
Many companies will start publishing their reports next week when earnings season is in full swing.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill rose to 1.33% from 1.30% Thursday night.
In other trading on Friday, benchmark US crude oil fell 6 cents to $ 71.59 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $ 1.48 to $ 71.65 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international pricing standard, fell 8 cents to $ 73.39 a barrel.
The US dollar rose from 109.85 yen to 110.19 Japanese yen. The euro slipped to $ 1.1801 from $ 1.1813.