It was a mixed picture as far as stock markets are concerned on Friday. While investors in Asia witnessed gains driven by a host of catalysts, the European market is struggling for direction. The US markets are trading down a while, the futures are falling while bonds have extended gains. Similar is the case in respect of the American Greenback. As far as India is concerned, the NSE’s Nifty and the BSE’s Sensex gained 0.7 percent and 0.74 percent respectively on Friday to close the week on a high note.
There is a couple of developments that took place in the Asian region. For instance, South Korea and North Korea have struck a historic agreement. During the day, investors were watching the developments closely and seeing the progress made thus boosting sentiments among investors. As a result, the markets were in the positive mode. The agreement will lead towards peace in the region thus avoiding any conflict to impact the economies. Incidentally, this comes on the heels of hopes that the United States will not withdraw itself from the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Aside from that, there was a renewed optimism from the technology earnings. This helped to lift market sentiments in the Asian region. As the summit was in progress, South Korea’s currency advanced. However, there was disappointing growth data from the Europe that played its part on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, BloombergQuint reported. Following this, Britain’s pound and the Euro dropped after the United Kingdom’s worst than expected quarterly GDP data after 2012. There was also nothing to cheer from the France and Spain on the data front.
The technology sector has witnessed nervousness in the last few months. That was primarily due to rosy pronouncements from companies like Baidu Inc., Intel, and Amazon.com. However, investors have started regaining their optimism slowly after few earnings announcement from the sector. For instance, Microsoft Corporation and Amazon.com shares are surging in the NASDAQ after their quarterly results announcement. Facebook too delivered strong numbers for the first quarter.
However, there are concerns on the European front over growth prospects. But this is effectively countermanded by the reducing tensions of geopolitical in the Asian region. That is because both North and South Korean leaders, Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae agreeing to end the seven-decade war finally this year.
Aside from these, Germany’s DAX Index advanced 0.8 percent to hit the biggest in over eleven weeks time. Similarly, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.7 percent to reach the highest in a week’s time. In the same way, the MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 0.1 percent on Friday.
In respect of currencies, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged up 0.1 percent whereas the Euro fell 0.1 percent to hit the weakest in 15 weeks’ period. Britain’s currency also dipped one percent to hit the weakest in eight weeks time. Similarly, the Japanese currency fell 0.5 percent.
As far as bonds, the ten-year treasuries yield fell one basis point to 2.97 percent. Similarly, German’s ten-year yield slackened two basis points to 0.68 percent.