Stocks struggle, dollar gains as investors scrutinise data
Global stocks struggled on Friday as investors pored over economic data for clues on the likelihood of more interest rate hikes and possible recession in the United States as a new earnings season unfolded.
The dollar edged up and looked set for its first weekly gain in more than a month on Friday.
Oil prices also crept higher but were still on track for a hefty weekly loss as softening U.S. economic data and a rise in U.S. gasoline inventories raised concerns about a recession and slower global oil demand.
The MSCI all country stock index (.MIWO00000PUS) was down 0.1%, though it remains about 8% firmer for the year.
The S&P Global composite purchasing managers’ index for the euro zone jumped to an 11-month high of 54.4 in April, well above the 50 mark separating growth and contraction.
PMI data showed Germany and France, motors of the EU economy, recovering, though there is a widening gap between weakening manufacturing and recovering services. British retail sales fell by a greater than expected 0.9% in March from February.
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