US stocks closed marginally lower on Friday as ongoing trade negotiations between the US and China weighed on sentiment. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% as losses in Financials and Energy offset gains elsewhere.
Semiconductor stocks were among the primary underperformers as weak guidance from Applied Materials, a maker of equipment used to produce chips, weighed on the sector.
Bond yields remained in focus as the US 10 year traded above 3.1% for the first time since 2011 and the 2 year bond touched its highest level in a decade. US yields settled at 3.08% on Friday.
European equities also closed lower amid trade concerns. The Euro Stoxx 50 index fell 0.5%, the German DAX index lost 0.3% and the French CAC settled 0.1% lower.
Futures indicate a positive open in the region of +0.4% this morning following comments from US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that the US was “putting the trade war on hold” amid progress in talks with China.
In currency markets, the euro touched fresh lows for the year after Italy’s two populist parties agreed on a prime minister.
Asian markets began the week on a positive note this morning. Japanese stocks gained 0.3% and Chinese stocks settled 0.5% higher.