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Stocks and oil rallies falter

May 11 2018 13:23

London - Europe's main stock markets ran out of steam on Friday in an "uninspired" performance amid a dearth of economic data, dealers said.

London stocks turned flat, having won 0.5% the previous day on the weak pound after the Bank of England held interest rates but cut its 2018 economic growth forecast.

Frankfurt and Paris meanwhile declined by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively.

"European equity markets are mixed... as a lack of macroeconomic news has left traders uninspired," said CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden.

"Stocks in Europe have had a good run recently, and this could just be a case of the bulls taking a breather."

Asian bourses extended this week's gains after another Wall Street rally, as traders welcomed below-forecast US inflation data that dented expectations for a sharp lift in US interest rates.

While geopolitical tensions continue to linger after Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear pact this week, dealers were buoyed by the prospect of cheaper borrowing after data showed consumer prices edged up only slightly in April.

News that Trump and Kim Jong Un had agreed to meet on June 12 in Singapore - the first US-North Korean summit in history - lifted optimism and fuelled hopes for peace on the Korean peninsula.

The inflation data provided some relief to trading floors, which have fluctuated over recent months on worries that an improving US economy and an expected surge in inflation will force the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.

"The market is breathing a sigh of relief that there was not an upside surprise to the inflation stats," wrote Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer of Bleakley Financial Group, in an email to clients.

The news lifted all three main indices on Wall Street and those gains extended into Asia.

Oil rally falters

This week's oil price rally faltered on Friday after recent surges that followed Trump's Iran decision and data showing improving US demand.

However, both main contracts remain close to peaks not seen since November 2014 and there is still talk of further rises to around $80 a barrel.

An exchange of rockets between Israel and Iran was also keeping traders wary of a flare-up in the volatile crude-producing Middle East region, with the Syria crisis still raging.

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equities  |  markets  |  global markets
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