German stocks booked a sharp gain on Friday, but recorded the worst annual return in 10 years. Meanwhile, Europe’s benchmarks followed strong advances in the U.S.
What did markets do?
Recapturing some of Thursday’s losses, the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +2.02% jumped 2% to end at 336.23, after closing down 1.7% the previous day — which marked a new 52-week low. For the week, the index finished off by 0.1% and 13.6% lower for 2018 with just one half-day session on Monday left.
The Stoxx Europe 50 index SX5P, +2.18% rose 2.2% to close at 2,755.16.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +2.27% finished 2.3% to 6,733.97, after falling 1.5% on Thursday. The day’s action represented the best advance for the index since April 5.
France’s CAC 40 PX1, +1.74% gained 1.7% to end at 4,678.74, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Italy index I945, +1.44% rose by 1.4% to 18,324.03.
On its last day of trading for the year, the Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +1.71% jumped by 1.7% to close at 10,558.96, and its overall market performance for 2018 was a loss of 18.3%, marking the steepest annual drop since a more than 40% plunge in 2008. Germany’s stock market will be closed on New Year’s Eve.
The euro EURUSD, +0.0875% rose to $1.1467 from a level of $1.1433 late Thursday in New York, while the pound GBPUSD, +0.4429% dropped slightly to $1.2684 from $1.2643 late Thursday.
What is driving the markets?
Oil prices rebounded on Friday, lifting big energy names, such as BP PLC BP, +1.06% . BP., +3.47% Investors have been wrestling with growing fears that a deterioration in appetite for so-called risk assets from oil to stocks was a sign of economic slowdown economic expansion.
Despite a wild week of trading in the U.S., the S&P 500 is set to end the week with a 3% gain. However, investors were wary after Wall Street’s drastic market oscillations, with Asian markets only making cautious gains on Thursday off the back of the market turnaround in the U.S.
What stocks are active?
Manufacturer AMS AG AMS, +10.20% topped the Europe Stoxx 600 gainers, rising by 10.2%.
Among banks, UBS Group AG UBSG, +4.08% rose 4.1% and pensions-provider Old Mutual Ltd. OMU, +2.74% finished 2.3% higher.