World stocks mostly rose on Friday ahead of more economic releases that could hint at how the Delta variant is affecting growth.
France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.2 per cent to 6,895.50, while the DAX in Germany added 0.3 per cent to 15,985.45. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.4 per cent to 7,223.49 in early trading.
Wall Street was set for a muted open. Futures for the broad S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 per cent to 4,457.50 and 35,437.00, respectively. Both indices had closed at record highs for the third straight day on Thursday.
Traders are digesting US economic releases and tracking the recovery of the world's largest economy. Recent Labour Department data showed jobless claims fell to 375,000 from 387,000 the previous week. Meanwhile, inflation at the wholesale level jumped a higher-than-expected 1 per cent in July.
Heads will turn to Europe and Asia next week. On the schedule is eurozone and UK inflation data, as well as the second-quarter performance of the eurozone economy.
Over in Asia, Japan and Thailand will report their second-quarter growth. While traders won’t “pay much attention to this backdated GDP data”, they will watch how the Delta variant is hitting the wider growth trajectory, ING analysts said.
China will also release its industrial output and retail sales figures for July. This comes after the country’s services sector was shown to have rebounded ahead of a fresh Covid-19 wave.
“Industrial production will be watched after the July trade data release, which was regarded to be resilient but missed the consensus,” Lewis Cooper of IHS Markit said.
Asia indices slipped on Friday. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.1 per cent to close at 27,977.15. South Korea's Kospi dropped 1.2 per cent to 3,171.29 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.5 per cent to 26,391.62.
The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.2 per cent to 3,516.30. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.5 per cent to 7,628.90, however. New Zealand’s benchmark jumped, while that of Singapore and Indonesia fell.
In energy markets, benchmark US crude lost 52 cents to $68.57 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price standard for international oils, gave up 39 cents to $70.92 per barrel in London.
The dollar slid to 110.27 yen from Thursday's 110.42 yen. The euro rose to $1.1745 from $1.1738.