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European stocks rise; Smiths Group earnings, G7 meeting eyed

Investing.com - European stock markets traded higher Friday, benefiting from the global optimism that a U.S. debt default will be avoided.

At 03:20 ET (07:20 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.3% higher, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. climbed 0.3% and the CAC 40 in France rose 0.4%.

These gains follow the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices closed at their highest levels since August 2022 on Wall Street, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 surging to its highest level since 1990.

Senior U.S. congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy indicated on Thursday confidence that an agreement to lift the U.S. debt ceiling, and thus preventing the country from defaulting on its obligations, could be achieved in the near future.

Friday has been relatively quiet in terms of corporate results, but Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) stock rose 0.8% after the U.K. engineering group lifted its 2023 revenue guidance after reporting strong third-quarter results.

The first quarter has been relatively strong for a significant number of major European companies. About half of the STOXX 600 companies have reported first-quarter results so far and two-thirds of them exceeded estimates.

However, it’s likely that more difficulties lie ahead as cash-strapped consumers rein in their spending and the first quarter’s relatively robust corporate margins come under pressure.

The European Central Bank raised interest rates earlier this month and further hikes look likely, with ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos saying on Thursday that he’s particularly concerned about the accelerating inflation in service industries.

German producer prices rose 0.3% in April, data showed earlier Friday, an annual rise of 4.1%, more than twice the ECB’s targeted inflation level.

Investors are also likely to keep an eye on developments at the G7 meeting in Japan, which continues over the weekend. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is set to appear in person, and will likely ask the members to increase the pressure on Russia by announcing additional sanctions to punish Moscow's aggression.

Oil prices rose Friday as traders took advantage of the optimism surrounding the potential raising of the U.S. debt ceiling to buy back into heavily discounted markets.

The crude market is on course to add around 3% this week, the biggest weekly gain since early April, breaking a run of four straight weeks of losses.

However, the immediate outlook still remains gloomy with elevated inflation data pointing to more interest rate hikes from global central banks and as weak economic data from China, the world’s largest crude importer, continued to emerge.

By 03:20 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.9% higher at $72.47 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.9% to $76.53.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,968.15/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0784.

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