US stocks rose at the open on Friday, after Pfizer said it may place an order for emergency use of a vaccine it developed for Covid-19 as early as possibly in November and data showed stronger-than-expected growth in retail sales last month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 76.52 points, or 0.27%, to 28570.72 points, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 10.16 points, or 0.29%, to 3,493.50 points, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 47.96 points, or 0.41%, to 11,761.83 points.
European shares rose from a two-week low on Friday; But it is still heading towards a weekly loss; After a sell-off marked by fear of a second wave of COVID-19 infections, and uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union, as well as doubts about further fiscal stimulus in the United States.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7% after recording its worst performance during the session in more than three weeks on Thursday. Shares of banks, insurance and energy companies, which bear the brunt of the losses, rose this week, ranging between 0.3% and 1%.
A new rise in Coronavirus infections in Europe has raised concerns about comprehensive general isolation measures, while London and Paris, the two richest cities in Europe, live under restrictions imposed by the state.
Shares in London rose about 1% in early trading; But it is still on track to end a two-week winning streak.
Shares in ThyssenKrupp rose 24.2%; A report stated that the privately owned Liberty Steel Group is planning to bid for the company’s troubled steel unit soon.
On the other hand, the Nikkei index fell on the Tokyo Stock Exchange; New restrictions to combat the Coronavirus in Europe dampened hopes for a rapid global economic recovery; However, losses were limited after Fast Retail forecast positive annual profits.
The Nikkei index fell 0.41% to 23,410.63 points. The broader Topix index lost 0.86% to 1617.69 points. In the week, the benchmark index fell 0.89%, the Topix fell 1.8%, while the latter recorded the largest decline in more than two months.
All sub-sector indices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which numbered 33 except for two, declined, while the real estate, pharmaceutical industry and road transport sectors led the decline in the main bourse.
Sentiment was negatively affected after restrictions were imposed to slow the spread of the Coronavirus in Europe, with London entering stricter general isolation measures and France imposing a night-time curfew in large cities to curb a jump in cases of COVID-19.
Some investors have also remained reluctant to take up positions due to the uncertainty surrounding the US stimulus talks, ahead of the US presidential elections and local corporate earnings reports.
But the Nikkei was supported by gains from the heavyweight Fast retailer; It jumped more than 4.4% after the clothing store chain operator reported a profit that exceeded expectations.
Fujifilm Holding Company also jumped 2.5% after the company said it had applied in Japan to obtain approval for the use of the anti-influenza drug Avigan as a treatment for “Covid-19” disease.
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