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Friday Morning Roundup: How Are Japanese Stocks Fairing?

Friday Morning Roundup: How Are Japanese Stocks Fairing?

Here's what's shaking:


Getty Images.

Stock futures are fluctuating in a narrow range on the final day of trading in what has been a tremendously volatile week.

In Europe, Britain's FSTE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 6,321.94. France's CAC-40 gained 0.2 percent to 3,805.50 and Germany's DAX rose 0.5 percent to 8,157.88.

U.S. markets rose Thursday on data showing U.S. retail sales rose 0.6 percent in May, their strongest showing in six months. Also, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits was smaller than expected last week.

Futures forecast a slightly lower open Friday, with the S&P 500 seen down 0.2 percent and the Dow Jones Industrials seen flat at 15,115.

In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225, the regional heavyweight, gained 1.9 percent to close at 12,686.52, recovering some of its losses after Thursday's 6.4 percent plunge .

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 percent to 2,162.04, coming off its lowest close in six months following Thursday's 2.8 percent slide. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.4 percent to 20,969.14 and Seoul added 0.4 percent to 1,889.24. India's Sensex rose 1.6 percent to 19,126.03.

The government will release a mix of reports Friday, beginning with wholesale prices for May.

Economists expect the Labor Department to report that its producer price index rose 0.1 percent last month, with earlier declines in gasoline prices evening out.

More weakness is expected in the Federal Reserve's industrial production report for last month. Output from mines and factories likely edged higher, economists believe, but not enough to signal a solid recovery.

The Group of Eight industrial nations meet in Northern Ireland next week.


Getty Images.

The price of oil rose past $97 a barrel Friday amid concerns about a possible escalation in Syria's civil war while traders awaited the release of several reports on the U.S. economy.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for July delivery was up 36 cents to $97.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 81 cents to close at $96.69 a barrel on Thursday.

Overall industrial production, which also includes output at utilities and mines, dropped 0.5 percent in April. That's the biggest decline since August. Analysts expect to see a slight improvement of 0.2 percent for May.

The world's biggest economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the January-March quarter, buoyed by the fastest rise in consumer spending in more than two years. But economic growth is expected to be weaker in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, was up 57 cents to $105.52 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.



Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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