Market Buzz: On a positive note

(RIA Novosti / Syisoev)
Russian equities will likely open higher Friday amid improved investor sentiment in Europe and rising oil prices.

­Russian stocks closed higher Thursday as investors digested the S&P downgrade of Spain’s sovereign credit rating and improved US jobs data. The MICEX added 0.15% and the RTS advanced 0.45%.

European stocks also climbed Thursday on the news of the Spain downgrade and renewed hopes that Madrid would ask for a bailout. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.8%. The Spanish IBEX 35 rose 0.9% and Italy’s FTSE MIB added 1.25% after the Italian government successfully sold 6 billion euros in public debt.

US markets traded flat on Thursday despite data showing that jobless claims fell to a four-year low. Gains at Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase supported the indices. The Dow Jones fell 0.1%, the S&P 500 rose less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq declined 0.1%. Earnings reports from J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo are expected Friday.

Asian stocks traded lower on Friday, erasing the previous day’s gains, ahead of trade data from China due later this weekend. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.25%, while South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.2%.  The Nikkei Stock lost 0.3% due to large losses posted by Softbank Corp. and Fast Retailing Co. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.5% and the Australian S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.15%.