Global markets endured a horror week last week, after the Fed signaled a reduction in its market stimulus program. However, there was some light at the end of the tunnel with U.S. markets firming on Friday night.
European stocks posted the biggest weekly slide in 13 months as Bernanke said the Fed may pare bond purchases, Greek wrangling threatened to fracture the government and China’s cash crunch worsened.
The Stoxx 600 fell 1.2% to 280 at the close of trading on Friday.
In London, the FTSE 100 dropped 43 points (-0.7%) to settle at 6,116 while the German DAX shed 139 points (-1.8%) to close at 7,789.
U.S. stocks fell for the week, sending benchmark indexes to their worst retreat since April.
The S&P 500 slipped 2.1% to 1,592 last week, trimming its 2013 gain to 12%. The Dow Jones also lost 271 points (- 1.8%) for the week to finish trading at 14,799.
However, on Friday the S&P 500 reversed the trend to gain four points (+0.3%) while the blue-chip Dow added 41 points (0.3%) for the day.
Gold rose from the lowest since 2010 on speculation that the slump may spur purchases. The metal had its worst week since April.
Gold futures for August delivery added 0.5% to settle at $1,292 on the Comex in New York. Prices tumbled 6.9% for the week.
Crude oil fell to a two-week low as the greenback rose on expectations the Fed will trim its monthly bond purchases in September and on concern that China’s cash squeeze may curb its economic growth.
Oil for August delivery dropped $1.45 (-1.5%) to $93.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. There is no major local economic data due out during today’s session.