France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4 per cent to 5,080.31 while the DAX in Germany dipped 0.4 per cent to 11,044.17. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.1 per cent to 7,202.54.
Wall Street was set for losses on the open. S&P 500 futures shed 0.3 per cent to 2,735.00. Futures for the Dow were 0.4 per cent lower at 25,327.00.
European traders were looking out for possible snap elections in Spain. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was to make an announcement Friday after his government lost a key budget vote.
American and Chinese officials were to wrap up two days of negotiations in Beijing on Friday. It was unclear if they made headway on prickly issues such as Washington’s unhappiness over Chinese technology and trade policies. Both delegations did not speak to reporters before Friday’s meeting.
The US is set to more than double import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese goods after March 1. But Trump has hinted that he may hold off on these if both sides made enough progress at the trade talks.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 retreated 1.1 per cent to 20,900.63 and the Kospi in South Korea tumbled 1.3 per cent to 2,196.09. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 1.9 per cent to 27,900.84. The Shanghai Composite was 1.4 per cent lower at 2,682.39. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 bucked the regional trend, picking up 0.1 per cent to 6,066.10. Shares fell Taiwan and throughout Southeast Asia.
Gold rose on Friday after weak US economic data dialled down chances the Federal Reserve would hike rates this year, and as dismal signals from China and Europe compounded concerns of a global slowdown and supported safe-haven demand for bullion.
Spot gold rose 0.3 per cent to $1,316.66 per ounce by 1036 MT, on course for a small weekly gain.
US gold futures gained 0.5 per cent to $1,319.90 an ounce.
The US dollar eased to ¥110.36 from ¥110.45 late on Thursday. The euro slipped to $1.1275 from $1.1296.
SOURCE: AP, REUTERS