US Stocks post weekly loses for the first time in six weeks

Wall Street stocks closed higher on Friday, with market-leading growth shares kick-starting indexes’ climb as investors looked past disappointing U.S. economic data. Despite their advances, all three major U.S. stock indexes ended the session below last Friday’s close, ending a five-week streak of weekly gains. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment data for November unexpectedly dropped to a 10-year low, and a Labor Department report showed job openings barely budged from record highs even as workers are quitting in record numbers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 179.08 points, or 0.5%, to 36,100.31. The S&P 500 gained 33.58 points, or 0.72%, at 4,682.85 and the Nasdaq Composite added 156.68 points, or 1%, at 15,860.96. U.S. Treasury yields, which have cooled their recent jolt higher, recovered some losses following data showing consumer sentiment fell amid worries about elevated inflation.

European shares closed their sixth straight week of gains at a new high on Friday, as strong results from Cartier owner Richemont rounded off a robust earnings season. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3% to a new peak of 486.75 points and added 0.7% for the week. It has finished at record highs in four of the five sessions this week. Germany stocks were mixed after the close on Friday, as gains in the Retail, Telecoms and Technology sectors led shares higher while losses in the Industrials, Software and Media sectors led shares lower. At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX rose 0.04% to hit a new all-time high, while the MDAX index declined 0.23%, and the TecDAX index added 0.43%. France stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Foods & Drugs, Gas & Water and General Financial sectors led shares higher. At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.38% to hit a new all-time high, while the SBF 120 index climbed 0.30%. ECB policymakers acknowledged on Friday that euro zone inflation may decline more slowly than earlier thought, partly due to supply chain bottlenecks. Further, Europe has become the epicentre of COVID-19 again, with Germany, France, and the Netherlands experiencing a surge in infections, and prompting some governments to consider re-imposing lockdowns, according to fresh data.

Asian shares crept higher on Monday as Chinese economic data surprised on the high side, challenging assumptions the giant economy was locked into in a downturn although falling mainland house prices remained a nagging worry. Annual growth in retail sales and industrial output both handily beat forecasts, with the bounce in consumption a positive given pandemic restrictions. Chinese blue chips were a fraction lower after the data, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3%. Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.5% as data showing economic activity shrank by more than expected in the third quarter only reinforced the case for aggressive fiscal stimulus.

The Russian stock market ended trading in the red. The Moscow Exchange index, one of the main Russian stock indicators, fell below 4100 points on Friday afternoon for the first time since the beginning of October amid falling oil, while the RTS index fell below 1800 points against the background of the weakening ruble. The Moscow Exchange index fell by 1.62% to 4121.66 points. The RTS index fell 3.79% to 1,784.28 points.

Oil prices fell on Friday wiping out gains from Thursday’s session. Brent crude futures fell 70 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $82.17 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 80 cents, or 1%, to settle at $80.79 a barrel. Oil markets have dropped for the last three weeks, hit by a strengthening dollar and speculation that President Joe Biden’s administration might release oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cool prices.