Top Stories
Top Stories
Europe Markets

European stocks close higher, ending a volatile week for global equity markets

Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed provisionally up almost 1.3%, with all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
  • A technical glitch prevented Britain's FTSE 100 from opening for almost two hours on Friday morning. The index closed about 0.7% higher.

European markets closed sharply higher Friday, as investors tentatively returned to riskier assets after a turbulent week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed provisionally up almost 1.3%, with all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

A technical glitch prevented Britain's FTSE 100 from opening for almost two hours on Friday morning. It was the index's longest outage in eight years. The bourse closed about 0.7% higher.

The U.K.'s blue-chip index had hit a six-month low in the previous session, as an escalating trade war between the United States and China and growing concerns about the world economy saw global stocks in sell-off mode.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

Europe's bank and utility stocks led the gains, with both sectors surging about 2.4% and 1.7% respectively.

Looking at individual stocks, Switzerland's Sunrise Communications was one European company in focus Friday. Germany's Freenet said it would vote against a proposed capital increase by the Zurich-based firm to fund a takeover bid for UPC. Shares of Sunrise rose about 3.5%.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands' Imcd tumbled to the bottom of the index after reporting first-half earnings on Friday. Shares slumped almost 15% as the firm's CEO warned of uncertain and volatile market conditions.

Recession fears

On Wall Street, stocks resumed a partial rebound from a massive sell-off earlier in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 270 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indexes were also positive.

Trading, which had already been dampened by a slowing economy and ongoing Sino-U.S. trade tensions, became more volatile in recent days after the U.S. 2-year/10-year Treasury yield curve inverted — a market move that is widely considered to be a signal of a looming recession.

Speaking to CNBC in Asia, Ray Dalio, founder of the world's largest hedge fund, said that there's a 40% chance that the U.S. will experience a recession before the 2020 election.

Investors will also be watching for developments in the U.S.-China trade war. U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that trade negotiators were holding "productive" talks, adding that he expected a meeting to be held in September, Reuters reported.

However, Beijing said on Thursday that it would retaliate to the latest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.