- Global markets surge to six-month high
- Oil prices gain on strong U.S. employment data
- Saudi Arabia’s index outperforms the region on Thursday
- Dollar rises, gold drops
Stock markets around the world rose to a fresh six-month high on Friday, boosted by hopes over a trade deal between the United States and China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39.95 points, or 0.15 percent, to 26,424.58, the S&P 500 gained 13.31 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,892.7 and the Nasdaq Composite added 46.91 points, or 0.59 percent, to 7,938.69.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.09 percent, notching its best weekly performance in three weeks, and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.34 percent its second straight weekly gain.
Oil prices rose sharply on Friday on strong U.S. employment data.
The U.S. Labor Department report showed employment growth accelerated from a 17-month low in March.
“This data is going to be enough to keep us above the $60 level for a least a couple of weeks,” Josh Graves, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, told Reuters.
Brent crude futures settled at $70.34 a barrel, up 94 cents, or 1.35 percent. The session high of $70.46 was the strongest since November 12.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled at $63.08 a barrel, up 98 cents, or 1.58 percent. Earlier in the session, WTI hit $63.24, the highest since November 6.
Middle East markets
Saudi Arabia’s index gained 0.9 percent on Thursday, led by a 3.1 percent rise in Al Rajhi Bank and a 2.3 percent gain in the largest lender National Commercial bank.
Dubai’s stock market index closed 0.6 percent higher, with Emirates NBD adding 4 percent.
Abu Dhabi's index slid 0.3 percent with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank declining 3.2 percent.
The Qatari index gained 0.3 percent, with Qatar Gas Transport (Nakilat) jumping 4.5 percent.
The Kuwaiti and Omani markets were closed for public holidays.
Egypt’s blue-chip index EGX30 gained 0.3 percent and Bahrain’s index edged 0.1 percent higher.
The dollar rose on Friday on strong U.S. employment data.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.08 percent.
Gold prices dropped on a stronger dollar.
Spot gold slipped 0.1 percent to $1,290.75 per ounce by 1740 GMT.
U.S. gold futures settled 0.1 percent higher at $1,295.6 an ounce.
(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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