World shares steadied on Friday after selling in the tech sector triggered their biggest fall in over a month, while the yen slid to a two-week low as the Bank of Japan signaled its stimulus was staying in place.
It was set to be the second week of falls for MSCI’s widely tracked world index, although Europe, which has been the star performer in the first half of the year, was trying to end it on an upnote.
London .FTSE, Frankfurt .GDAXI and Paris .FCHI climbed between 0.3 and 0.5 percent [.EU] and the euro EUR=EBS, the pound GBP=D3 and the Swiss franc CHF= rose against the dollar in the currency markets. [/FRX]
Greece’s 10-year government borrowing costs fell to their lowest in almost a month in bond markets as well, as euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund approved a long-delayed 8.5 billion euro lifeline for Athens, albeit keeping them hanging on for debt relief.
“The things that we were worried about at the start of the year which were French elections and potentially a Greek deal not getting done, we have had all the good news on that now,” said State Street Global Markets’ strategist Michael Metcalfe.
He said the dollar’s rise for the week suggested markets had now priced in that positive news – France’s new President Emmanuel Macron is expected to get a parliamentary majority at the weekend too – and were thinking where to go next.
The Japanese yen hit a two-week low against the dollar after the Bank of Japan left its mass money printing program unchanged, maintaining the contrast with the U.S. Federal Reserve, which signaled further tightening this week.
It was trading 0.3 percent lower at 111.23 yen JPY=D4 per dollar, while the euro EUR=EBS was buying $1.1173 compared with almost $1.13 earlier in the week.
The yen’s drop helped Japan’s Nikkei .N225 advance 0.7 percent, narrowing its loss for the week to 0.3 percent.
“The market was relieved that there was no mention of an exit strategy, at least for now,” said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.
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