Eu­ro­pean stocks slide but fin­ish week higher

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

Eu­ro­pean stocks ended Fri­day’s ses­sion slightly weaker, but man­aged to eke out a gain for the week, amid global growth jit­ters, a hawk­ish Fed­eral Re­serve and earn­ings dis­ap­point­ments in some big cor­po­ra­tions.

The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.4%, af­ter Thurs­day’s mod­est gain. For the week, the in­dex gained 0.5%.

Global eq­ui­ties took a hit from Thurs­day’s Fed­eral Re­serve out­come, which saw no change in key rates, but in­vestors were rat­tled by a per­ceived hawk­ish tone by the cen­tral bank. The news kept in­vestors from cheer­ing up­beat U.K. growth data, with Lon­don stocks bogged down by wor­ries about China growth.

Italy crept back as a worry for Europe, af­ter the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion on Thurs­day warned that it was con­cerned about the coun­try’s debt sit­u­a­tion, and that there was “no fu­ture” for the coun­try out­side of the com­mon cur­rency.

Heav­ily weighed en­ergy stocks fell along­side crude oil prices U.S. crude fell into a bear mar­ket on Thurs­day. Royal Dutch Shell Group PLC RDS.A, ended 0.2% lower, while BP PLC fin­ished down 1%.

The S&P 500 In­dex fell 0.9 per­cent as of 4 p.m. in New York. It rose 2.1 per­cent in the week for a se­cond straight ad­vance. The Nas­daq 100 In­dex lost 1.7 per­cent, while the Rus­sell 2000 fell 1.6 per­cent. The Nikkei-225 Stock Av­er­age de­clined 1.1 per­cent. The MSCI Emerg­ing Mar­ket In­dex sank 0.6 per­cent.

Asian fi­nan­cial shares per­formed par­tic­u­larly poorly fol­low­ing news that Bei­jing plans to set quo­tas for banks to pump credit into pri­vate com­pa­nies. The off­shore yuan held this week’s drop as there was lit­tle sign of an end to the U.S.-China trade war in the wake of the midterm elec­tions.

Else­where, the pound weak­ened amid on­go­ing spec­u­la­tion over a po­ten­tial Brexit deal. Emerg­ing­mar­ket stocks and cur­ren­cies slid.

West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate crude dipped 0.8 per­cent to set­tle at $60.19 a bar­rel. It is now lower for the year. Gold fu­tures sank 1.3 per­cent to $1,209.50 an ounce, hit­ting the weak­est in a month.

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