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Global markets were oddly calm on Friday, the last day of trading before the first round of France's closely fought presidential election, with European stocks posting modest declines ahead of Sunday's main event, Asian shares rising, and set for first weekly gain in the past month, while U.S. futures were unchanged.
European stocks rose amid earnings beats, offsetting weakness in the energy sector and easing investor concerns ahead of the weekend’s French election. Asian shares and U.S. futures also rise. The dollar weakens against the euro and most crosses, while crude oil rebounds following renewed OPEC chatter of a production cut, this time with Saudi Arabia seemingly onboard.
Last week the Internet was ablaze with disgust after a man was physically dragged off a United Airlines flight. What’s amazing, though, is that there are countless cases of another industry abusing its customers in far, far worse ways than the airlines.
S&P futures extended their Wednesday decline, dropping in the overnight session with banking shares in focus ahead of results from JPMorgan and Citigroup. European stocks likewise retreated along with the dollar, while Asian shares were mixed.
S&P futures are unchanged and Asian stocks closed mixed, however European stocks rebounded for first time this week, led by auto stocks after Daimler’s quarterly profit, as a break in alarming political news prompted traders to "swoop" - as Reuters puts it - on equities, cooling a safe-haven rally that saw the yen and gold at five-month highs and bond yields to drop their lowest this year.
With volume starting to fade ahead of Friday's holiday, and geopolitical concerns growing as a US aircraft carrier approaches North Korean, S&P futures pointed to a slightly lower open, in line with stock markets in Europe and Asia.