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In European Equity Markets stocks fell on Friday, weighed down by weakness in the heavyweight banking sector and a decrease in retail stocks following a disappointing trading update from fashion brand H&M.


Via Mr. Sanders of Snake Hole Lounge 

The pan-European STOXX 600 lost 0.2 percent at the end of the session and posted a 0.3-percent fall over the week as resurfacing worries over political risk spurred profit-taking and offset continued optimism in the region’s economic recovery. H&M lost 13 percent, leading losers on the STOXX, after the world’s second largest fashion retailer reported an unexpected decline in quarterly sales as fewer shoppers visited its stores. The stock hit its lowest since April 2009 and posted its biggest one-day loss in 16 years.

In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar rose on Friday as Republican negotiators in the U.S. Congress put the finishing touches on a sweeping tax overhaul, raising expectations that the bill would be passed by year-end.

The dollar index was last up 0.27 percent to 93.745.

The euro was down 0.03 percent to $1.1774.

The New Zealand dollar rose 0.36 percent after the country’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson said he was comfortable with the currency’s general trend.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar rose 0.27 percent to Y112.69.

Sterling declined 0.75 percent to $1.3330.

The Australian dollar was steady, with Aussie at $0.7665.

In Commodities Markets  oil prices were mixed on Friday, lingering below two-year highs on Friday as the continuing outage of a North Sea pipeline and OPEC-led production cuts supported prices, while climbing U.S. output kept a lid on gains.

Brent crude futures were down 4 cents at $63.27 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 25 cents at $57.29 a barrel.

WTI hit a two-year high of $59.05 on Nov. 24.

Gold prices were roughly unchanged on Friday as gains were capped by a rise in the dollar amid growing investor optimism on tax reform.

Gold futures for February delivery rose by 0.04 percent, to $1,257.60 a troy ounce.

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