The bond market has entered a financial twilight zone, and at this point, there doesn't seem to be a smooth way out.Market Insiderread more
"I think (rate cuts) will help, but whether they're going to be sufficient to counter the negative trade pressures and global growth slowdown and impact is debatable," one...Central Banksread more
China has used both monetary and fiscal measures to lift economic activity as its trade war with the U.S. looks set to intensify in the coming months.China Economyread more
Alibaba held a board meeting before its latest quarterly earnings release last week, during which the board decided to postpone the Hong Kong listing, Reuters reported.Technologyread more
President Donald Trump said on Twitter he was postponing a scheduled meeting with Denmark's prime minister because of her lack of interest in discussing a possible sale of...World Politicsread more
The two countries want to smash the civil aerospace duopoly enjoyed by Airbus and Boeing.Aerospace & Defenseread more
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is set to deliver his annual speech on Friday at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming symposium, where he's expected to provide more clarity on the...Asia Marketsread more
After Elon Musk touts Tesla solar on Twitter, Walmart sues the electric vehicle and clean energy company over store rooftop panels that ignited.Technologyread more
U.S. and Asian investors poured $3.7 billion into U.K. tech start-ups in the first seven months of 2019, research shows.Technologyread more
Trump said he has "been thinking about payroll taxes for a long time" — and he cautioned that "whether or not we do something now, it's not being done because of recession."Politicsread more
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo privately told business executives and free traders that the trade war could end by the 2020 election and that hurdles to an immediate agreement...2020 Electionsread more
The euro and benchmark German bond yields slid to three-week lows on Friday as a surprise fall in Spanish inflation bolstered investors' bets the European Central Bank will ease policy next week to ward off the threat of deflation.
Equity markets drew support from the renewed potential for looser ECB monetary policy, as well as reports Beijing could fast-track infrastructure spending to boost the Chinese economy.
The 0.2 percent annual decline in Spanish consumer prices this month was larger than expected, the weakest figure since October 2009, and enough to push Spanish 10-year government bond yields to a new eight-year low.
Preliminary German inflation data for March later on Friday will now come under even greater scrutiny for signs that the threat of deflation is spreading from peripheral euro zone economies like Spain to the bloc's powerful core.
"The market is reacting strongly, and this really indicates that the market is nervous," said Michael Leister, rates strategist at Commerzbank in London.
(Read more: ECB to get drastic? QE could be on the table)
"The bar is very high for further ECB easing, and we think the ECB is still going to stay on hold. But this is going to underpin these easing expectations," he said.
The euro hit a three-week low of $1.3704, falling further back from the $1.40 level many analysts think would be too strong for the fragile euro zone economy in the eyes of ECB policymakers.
Germany's 10-year Bund yield fell to 1.52 percent, while Spanish and Italian yields fell to eight-year troughs of 3.22 percent and 3.27 percent, respectively.
The ECB sets policy on Thursday next week, when it will have the euro zone-wide flash inflation estimate for March due on Monday. Economists expect that to slip to just 0.6 percent, well below the ECB's target of below but close to 2 percent.
Europe's main equity markets were all higher, posting early gains of up to three quarters of one percent.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 index was up 0.7 percent at 1332 points, on for its fourth straight day of gains as investors square positions at the end of the quarter.
After the respective eight and six percent gains of the previous two quarters, equity investors have been much more cautious in the first three months of the year. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 is on track for a gain of around 1 percent.
Asian and emerging market shares were supported by comments from China's Premier Li Keqiang, who was quoted by state media as saying the government would roll out targeted measures step-by-step to aid the economy.
MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.7 percent and Japan's Nikkei .N225 closed at a three-week high of 14,696 points ahead of the end of their financial year on March 31.
Emerging markets showed signs of recovering from a bruising few weeks, with hopes of further Chinese stimulus pushing with the military and geopolitical tensions surrounding Russia and Ukraine further into the background.
The MSCI index of emerging shares has climbed for six straight sessions to the highest since January 3. The index for Latin America on Thursday boasted its biggest daily gain since July 2012 as Brazilian markets rallied.
In U.S. bond markets, Treasury yields were capped by the fall in European bond yields. Ten-year U.S. borrowing costs hovered around 2.67 percent, a single basis point above Thursday's 11-day low.
Gold looked to snap its broad losing streak this month, rebounding from Thursday's six-week low to trade up 0.4 percent on the day at $1,295.00 an ounce.
In the oil market, U.S. crude futures were almost flat on the day at $101.43 a barrel.