European stocks may open a tad lower on Friday, with geopolitical tensions likely to remain in focus on reports that Russia has fired more than 100 missiles into Ukraine in one of the largest aerial bombardments since the war began.
Meanwhile, as COVID infections spike in China, it is feared that the country may become fertile ground for new variants.
The head of the World Health Organization said the restrictions some countries were introducing in a bid to avoid importing new variants from China were “understandable” given the lack of information out of Beijing.
An increasing number of nations now require COVID tests for travelers from China.
Asian markets were seeing modest gains in cautious trade in final trading session of 2022.
Gold edged higher as the latest U.S. labor market data led to some dollar weakness and Treasury yields backing off. Oil prices also traded higher after a three-day run of declines.
In economic releases, U.K. Nationwide house price data is due for December. House price inflation is expected to ease to 2.3 percent from 4.4 percent in November.
U.S. stocks rallied overnight as investors sought to snap up bargains in the tech sector, looking past worries that new variants could emerge from China’s continuing COVID outbreak.
Investors also digested data showing that jobless claims rose slightly in the week ended December 24 but held near historic lows.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index surged 2.6 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.8 percent and the Dow added 1.1 percent.
European stocks reversed course to end higher on Thursday, tracking the broad-based rally on Wall Street on the penultimate trading day of the year.
The pan European STOXX 600 rose 0.7 percent. The German DAX gained 1.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 index advanced 1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent.
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