US consumers increased their spending moderately in July, as wages and salaries made their biggest jump in eight months, AP reported. Spending rose 0.3 percent in July, helped by purchases of big-ticket items, the Commerce Department said Friday. June’s result was revised up to a matching 0.3 percent gain.
Crude prices are gaining on Friday after a 10 percent surge the day before. Brent crude was up 3.78 percent, trading at $49.36 per barrel, while US benchmark WTI was up 4.56 percent at $44.50 per barrel, as of 15:50 GMT.
The ruble gained over 7 percent against the US dollar and 10 percent against the euro this week. The Russian currency was trading at 65.69 rubles to the US dollar and at 73.71 to the euro, as of 15:00 GMT on Friday.
European markets were mixed on Friday with London's FTSE up 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX losing 0.05 percent and the CAC 40 in France 0.64 percent lower, as of 14:53 GMT.
The Dow Jones Industrials Average was up 0.3 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were down a fraction of a percent in early trading on Friday, as of 1445 GMT.
Moscow’s RTS Index was up two percent in Friday trading after gaining over 6 percent the day before, while the MICEX was up over one percent, as of 14:40 GMT.
Greece’s economy grew slightly faster than previously forecast in the second quarter of the year, AP reported. The country’s statistics agency said Friday the economy grew 0.9 percent compared to the first three months of the year, faster than 0.8 percent the previously estimated. According to seasonally adjusted data, the economy grew by 1.6 percent compared with the same quarter last year, which is slightly higher than the initial estimate of 1.4 percent.