Though both the retail sales and consumer sentiment figures, at 0.6% and 98.1 respectively, were a tad lower than expected, they still provided enough fuel for the dollar to overturn its earlier losses. Against the pound it went from half a percent down to 0.1% up, pushing sterling back under $1.22 in the process, while taking another 0.2% off the euro. The Dow Jones also reacted positively to the figures, rising around 15 points after the bell; that only just put the index over 19900, however, a level it has repeatedly struggled to escape since before Christmas.
With the pound shedding the growth it had managed during the morning the FTSE received the green light to climb a bit higher this Friday. The UK index rose by 0.6% as the afternoon went on, not only pushing it towards yet another all-time peak but a 12th consecutive record-breaking close as well.
Yet it was neither the UK nor US indices that were Friday’s best performers, but those found in the Eurozone. The DAX and CAC rose 0.8% and 1% as the day went on, with the upbeat updates from JP Morgan and Wells Fargo in the US helping to extend the gains seen by the likes of Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and BNP Paribas.