Wall Street was set to make solid gains in early trading on Friday and stock markets elsewhere were mostly flat or up, suggesting that a turbulent week could end on an upbeat note despite persistent worries about the strength of the global economy and the continuing trade war between the United States and China.
Stock futures on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average indexes were up nearly 1 percent and major European indexes were up about the same amount by early afternoon. Trading across Asia was mixed.
Earlier in the week, developments in the United States bond market, which was pricing in a likely recession next year, spooked investors. The anxiety was further fueled by concerns over the continuing conflict between Washington and Beijing; uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the European Union; weak economic data from Germany; and political unrest in Hong Kong. By Thursday, stock markets were experiencing one of their worst weeks of the year.
Although sentiment appeared to have turned more positive by early Friday, confidence that it would carry through the day was in short supply.
“Exhausted traders the world over head into the weekend in a more buoyant mood,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at the brokerage Oanda. “While I’d like to think there’ll be no more drama in the final hours of trading, I’m just not that optimistic.”
In Europe, Germany’s DAX index was up 1 percent, France’s CAC 40 rose 1.1 percent and the FTSE 100 in London — where trading was delayed by more than 90 minutes over what the London Stock Exchange said was a “services issue” — was 0.7 percent higher.
“Despite the positive start today, it seems unlikely that it will be enough to prevent another negative week,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. “Nothing we’ve heard over the last few days has come close to changing investor concerns that the global economy is on the cusp of a sharp slowdown, and if anything, a lot of the data has only served to reinforce those fears.”
Investors continue to keep a close watch on the trade dispute. Hopes of a swift resolution have faded, and investors appear to be digging in for a protracted dispute. President Donald Trump has defended his stance once again and has insisted that a resolution with China must be “on our terms.”
In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.1 percent, South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.6 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.9 percent and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 percent.