European markets managed to eke out a small gain and finish in positive territory on Friday, as sharply weaker oil prices weighed on many stock benchmarks.
That included those in the U.S., which ended a shortened session in the red.
How are the markets performing?
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -3.67% closed 0.4% higher at 353.98, still having dropped more than 1% on the week, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210223310/composite DAX -3.26% ended Friday up 0.5% at 11,192.69 points, and the French CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -4.75% closed 0.2% higher at 4,946.95. The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -3.64% finished the session down 0.1% to 6,952.86. All three indexes, however, fell over the course of the week.
The British pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.1276% fell to $1.2810, compared with $1.2878 late Thursday in New York, when the currency climbed after an agreement about the future ties between the U.K. and EU was reached on Thursday. The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.9635% was down to $1.1333, versus $1.1404 on Thursday.
What is driving markets?
Across the board, a plunging oil prices weighed on market sentiment and left European stocks struggling in the red.
Otherwise, European investors contended with weak data and continued political developments in the region. November PMIs for the eurozone fell short of forecasts, with the composite index coming in at 52.4, versus 53 expected. A reading of at least 50 indicates improving conditions.
Lackluster economic reports weighed on the euro and were a blow to any investors looking for a eurozone rebound in the fourth quarter, market participants said, coming after German gross-domestic-product data confirmed a pullback in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, sterling was paring a sizable gain against its major rivals after Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Thursday that she had agreed a draft political declaration outlining aspirations for the U.K’s relationship with the EU She still has to push the deal through parliament.
The draft political declaration is due for final sign off at the summit, and is an additional supplement to the 585-page Withdrawal Agreement published last week. However, lingering is a sticky issue with Spain over Gibraltar.
What is driving markets?
Major oil companies led the losses as crude plunged, with Royal Dutch Shell PLC /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A -4.91% /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA -5.66% ending down nearly 4%, and BP PLC /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -6.11% sliding to end 2.4% lower. Repsol SA /zigman2/quotes/202941606/delayed ES:REP -7.35% finished Friday down 2.6%
Banks provided some support, with heavily-weighted bank HSBC holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/208272822/composite HSBC -6.21% /zigman2/quotes/203901799/delayed UK:HSBA -6.70% regaining some lost ground and ending the day 0.6% higher following losses during the week.