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US stocks end volatile week at records, European stocks also gain

·3-min read
Wall Street stocks finished a volatile week at records as worries over global growth eased

Wall Street stocks bounced back Friday, concluding a rocky week at records as investors shrugged off worries over global growth and the Delta strain of Covid-19 that had pummeled equities in the prior session.

All three major US indices finished at all-time highs, following a strong session in Europe.

"Yesterday’s 'sea of red' has been washed away, replaced by an avalanche of green across global markets as investors step right back on to the equity rally train," commented Chris Beauchamp, an analyst at the online trading group IG.

Market watchers attributed the rally to bargain hunting after Thursday's losing session, along with relief at a jump in the yield of the 10-year US Treasury bond after it sagged below 1.3 percent on Thursday.

"We're in a bull market, and the path of least resistance is up," said Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors.

"You get some concerns like we did yesterday, and then people reconsider, and they come back and buy stocks again," she said. "We're in the second year of what will probably be at least a five-year expansion."

This week's sharp pullback in yields had been seen as suggesting weakening confidence in the medium-term global growth outlook, but the yield on the 10-year bond climbed sharply on Friday.

A note Friday from Oxford Economics predicted yields on the 10-year note would move back towards 1.9 percent this year, citing "still-strong economic growth, elevated inflation, increased global vaccination rates and a more hawkish Fed."

President Joe Biden unveiled a sweeping plan to crack down on corporate mergers through an executive order that directs of dozens of changes on everything from drug prices to the disclosure of airline baggage fees.

The order drew strong praise from consumer advocates but a scathing response from some industry lobbying groups.

Markets largely shrugged off the plan, which requires extensive follow-up steps from numerous government agencies to ensure the promised changes are implemented.

- Doubts over normalcy -

European stock markets also leapt higher, while Asian indices were mixed amid renewed fears over the threat from coronavirus variants to the global economic recovery.

Hong Kong was a rare bright spot in Asian trading Friday, closing 0.7percent higher on bargain hunting.

"The markets have been supported by expectations on economic growth... but now investors question whether the economy will normalize given a new wave of Covid-19 because of new variants and stagnation of economic indications," noted Okasan Online Securities.

Meanwhile, data showed that Britain's economy grew for a fourth month running in May on further easing of lockdown measures, though the rate of expansion slowed by more than expected.

- Key figures around 2100 GMT -

New York - DOW: UP 1.3 percent at 34,870.16 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 1.1 percent at 4,369.55 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 1.0 percent at 14,701.92 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.3 percent at 7,121.88 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.7 percent at 15,687.93 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 2.1 percent at 6,529.42 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.9 percent at 4,068.09 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 27,940.42 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.7 percent at 27,344.54 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 3,524.09 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1881 from $1.1845 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3902 from $1.3786

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.43 from 85.92 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 110.03 from 109.72 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.9 percent at $75.55 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.2 percent at $74.56 per barrel

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