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Asian stock markets largely continued their recovery on Friday in spite of a negative lead-in from US markets, which stumbled on Thursday as doubts mounted about the prospects of the Republican party’s repeal of Obamacare – as well as its ability to unify and push forward on other fronts like tax reform.

The febrile US capital is heading into the most consequential day of Donald Trump’s presidency so far. The president failed to reach a deal with far-right Republicans over his plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, forcing the delay of Thursday’s vote. Mr Trump has warned Republicans to pass the new bill on Friday or risk being stuck with Obamacare.

Asian stock markets continued to recover after a midweek sell-off and as a highly anticipated vote on US healthcare reform was pushed back until later on Friday. The S&P/ASX 200 index in Sydney finished 0.8 per cent higher while Tokyo’s Topix climbed 0.9 per cent. The Hang Seng is down 0.2 per cent in Hong Kong.

Futures tip the FTSE 100 to inch up 0.1 per cent when markets open in London, while the S&P 500 is expected to open up 0.2 per cent in New York.

Company earnings reports out today include Smith Group and Italgas.

The economic calendar for Friday is at the end of its tether (all times London):

  • 07.45: France GDP final read
  • 08.00: France Markit manufacturing and services PMIs (preliminary)
  • 08.30: German Markit manufacturing and services PMIs (preliminary)
  • 09.00: eurozone manufacturing and services PMIs (preliminary)
  • 10.30: Russia interest rates decision

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