European markets open at close to end choppy week

LONDON — European markets were higher on Friday, trailing global gains as another week of volatile trading draws to a close.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 1.2% in early trade, with core resources climbing 2.4% to lead the gains as most sectors and major exchanges moved into positive territory. Household goods fell 0.6%.

European stocks are still on course for a negative week, having closed sharply lower on Thursday as inflation worries and worrying earnings reports from US retailers rattled global sentiment.

Asia-Pacific markets rose on Friday, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index leading the gains as China kept its benchmark one-year lending rate unchanged at 3.7% but cut its prime rate on five years by 15 basis points.

U.S. stock futures rose in premarket trading, pointing to a higher open on Wall Street on Friday as traders watch to see if the S&P 500 will fall into bearish territory.

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We expect inflation to moderate in the second half of the year and then in 2023, but we could have bad surprises.

Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas

Chief Economist, IMF

IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas told CNBC on Friday that leaders expect supply chain disruptions to ease over the coming months, easing some of the global price pressures. However, he warned that there are still a number of risks to the outlook.

“We see the shutdowns in China which are extended and which could lead to further disruption, we see the increases in energy prices and perhaps food prices which are going to trickle down in terms of headline inflation,” Gourinchas said. .

“We therefore expect inflation to moderate in the second half of the year and then in 2023, but we could have unpleasant surprises.”

On the data front, German producer prices soared 33.5% year-on-year in April, another record annual rise as war in Ukraine sends energy costs skyrocketing in the greater economy of Europe.

In terms of individual stock price movement, Denmark’s Rockwool International climbed more than 7% to top the Stoxx 600 after its first-quarter earnings report.

At the bottom of the index, Swiss luxury goods company Richemont plunged more than 10% after its annual results.

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