Eurozone inflation has begun to soften while recent data from the bloc suggests that economic activity may have already peaked. Rather than interest rate tightening, expectations are increasing that the ECB will soon unveil a further extension to its quantitative easing programme.
Industrial metals have been on the back foot so far this year, with recent worries over a trade war between the US and China undermining already weakening sentiment.
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Bitcoin and the other major cryptocurrencies have been trading in a relatively narrow range over recent weeks. But investors are scratching their heads as to where the crypto is going next.
US inflation picked up in January, with the personal consumption expenditure price index rising by the most in a year. Investors are keeping a close eye on US consumers prices.
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Li Shufu, the principal owner of Chinese auto group Zhejiang Geely, has purchased a 10% stake in automaker Daimler.
Volkswagen shares slipped 0.8% on Friday after the company warned profits could be hit this year due to rising investment in electric cars and new product launches.
Gold prices dipped on Friday, with the yellow metal heading for its biggest weekly decline in around 2-1/2 months as the dollar resumed its recent upward trend.
Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio has forecast the US economy to likely fall into recession prior to the next US presidential election in 2020.
US-based food group General Mills is to acquire luxury dog food maker Blue Buffalo Pet Products in an $8bn deal.
Gold traded slightly higher on Thursday, helped by a modest pullback in the US dollar.
Shares in Chesapeake Energy were up 5% on Thursday in pre-market trading after the US-based oil & gas producer swung into profit.
Wilmar International, the Singapore-based agricultural commodity trader reported a 25% rise in quarterly earnings on Thursday.
Oil trading group Vitol predicts strong demand for crude oil during 2018, enabling a further drawdown in global inventories as the year progresses.