European stocks recovered Friday morning, after slumping to a two-year low in the previous session but significant gains were capped by lack of thrust from Wall Street and Asia.
Stoxx 600 was up over 1.3 percent during mid-morning deals, with all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
Europe’s tech stocks were among the top performers, up around 2 percent as worries of a fresh flare-up in tensions between the world’s two largest economies cooled. The arrest of Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver on Wednesday had threatened to derail progress in U.S.-Sino trade talks. However, tech stocks pared some of their recent losses Friday morning, with Nokia and Ericsson both trading more than 3 percent higher.
Looking at individual stocks, Britain’s Tesco surged towards the top of the European benchmark after Exane BNP Paribas raised its stock recommendation to “neutral” from “underperform.” Shares of the London-listed stock were up over 5 percent on the news.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Fresenius SE tumbled to the bottom of the index after the healthcare group slashed its medium-term guidance late Thursday. The company cited lower profit expectations at its dialysis arm FMC and clinics chain Helios, Reuters reported. Shares of the group tanked 13 percent.
Stateside, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy was doing very well, shortly before the release of November employment data.
Financial markets are likely to closely monitor the release of U.S. payrolls data on Friday, amid concern the U.S. economy could be heading for a tough patch after years of robust growth.
In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, rose 0.4 percent on Friday.
In October, Merkel announced she would not run for the post and has effectively started to wind down her political career.
Elsewhere, Denmark’s Danske Bank is scheduled to hold an extraordinary general meeting to elect a new chairman and vice chairman Friday afternoon. It comes after the bank’s largest shareholder ousted the head of Dankse Bank’s board this month following a money laundering scandal.
In energy markets, oil prices added to recent losses Friday morning as OPEC delayed a decision over output cuts. The influential cartel and its allied oil-producing nations are set to debate the terms of production cuts in Vienna, Austria on Friday.