Despite starting strong on Friday after the better than expected rise in retail sales, yet U.S. equity markets trimmed their gains, as the University of Michigan confidence index fell below expectations, which raised concerns over the outlook of the U.S. economy.
Meanwhile, European markets also rose on Friday supported by a short-selling ban in several European countries, in addition to data from the European Central Bank, which showed demand for the overnight loan facility eased noticeably compared with a day earlier, which eased concerns from the European debt crisis.
The retail sales for July rose by 0.5% in line with expectations, while retail sales excluding autos rose above estimates, and retail sales excluding autos and gas also rose above expectations.
The University of Michigan released the preliminary estimate for consumer confidence for August, where consumer confidence eased to 54.9, compared with the prior estimate of 63.7 and below median estimates of 62.0. The economic conditions index eased to 69.3 from 75.8, and the economic outlook index eased to 45.7 from 56.0.
Stocks in the United States rebounded to the upside by opening on Thursday, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by nearly 1.30% to trade around 10,857, while the S&P 500 index was up by nearly 1.25% to trade around 1135.
European stock indexes were mixed before closing on Thursday, where FTSE 100 was up by nearly 0.60% to trade at 5037 and the DAX was down by nearly 0.15% to trade around 5605.
The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Friday, where the U.S. dollar index was trading at 74.41, compared with the opening level at 74.76. The Euro gained slightly against the Dollar, where the EUR/USD pair fell to trade at $1.4237, compared with the opening level at $1.4215, and the British Pound extended its gains against the Dollar for a second day, where the GBP/USD pair traded around $1.6287, compared with the opening level at $1.6229.
Gold prices extended the drop for a second day on Friday after rising to a new record high above $1800 an ounce on Wednesday, as gold dropped to trade around $1733 an ounce, and crude oil prices extended the rise to trade around $86 a barrel.