Markets in Europe opened higher on Friday morning as investors digested data from China and tune in for corporate earnings from the U.S. later in the day. U.K.’s FTSE 100 has hit a new record high and is currently on course to extend its longest winning streak. Europe’s major markets are all higher this morning with Germany’s DAX and UK’s FTSE adding 0.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 adding 0.5 percent while the Euro Stoxx added 0.3 percent as of 9:15 GMT.
Oil prices dipped this morning, on lingering doubts that crude production cuts would not go deep enough to curb the global fuel supply glut. Investor sentiment also worsened by concerns over the health of the Chinese economy after data revealed the steepest falls in exports since 2009. In today’s energy markets Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were last seen trading at $55.91 per barrel at 9:15 GMT, down 9 cents from their last close; while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 crude futures were down 5 cents at $52.96 per barrel.
Asian stocks erased early gains to close lower, after weak overnight cues from Wall Street and disappointing Chinese trade data dented investor sentiment. Trade data from China has disappointed the markets, with exports falling 7.7% in 2016, marking the biggest drop since 2009. Imports also fell 5.5%.The weaker-than-expected performance has raised fears that global demand is slowing, in Europe and elsewhere. Another major concern is the prospect of a trade war between China and the US, once Donald Trump settles in at the White House. It should be noted, that the president-elect has already signaled he would take a tough stance against China trade.