US investment management company BlackRock reported stronger than expected profits from its fourth trading quarter after drawing further cash into its exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Stocks on the Continent fared well at the end of the week as the two main German parties achieved a breakthough in negotiations to form a grand coalition after a marathon 24 hours of talks, boosting asset prices across the single currency bloc.
US bank Wells Fargo announced on Friday that it was planning to close around 900 branches over the next four years as part of a cost-cutting initiative, despite having posted an immediate $3. 4bn boost to its profits resulting from reforms to federal tax laws enacted in December.
Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has announced Facebook will give priority to posts from friends over posts from companies or the media, with the aim of "having more meaningful social interactions".
JPMorgan Chase beat Wall Street's expectations for earnings in its fourth trading quarter, saying recent reforms to US tax laws would help boost profits, not only by cutting down the amount of tax the firm paid to the federal government but also by enticing more corporations to borrow further.
Wall Street's main market gauges are continuing to push higher, helped by another drop in the US dollar and as investors sift through earnings from the likes of JPMorgan and Wells Fargo.
The euro rose to a three-year high against the dollar on Friday as investors welcomed a breakthrough in German coalition talks.
Sterling rose to its best level since the Brexit vote on Friday on news that Spain and Holland's finance ministers have reached an agreement that would see the two work together to lock down a Brexit deal that would keep the UK as close to the EU as possible.
The cost of living in the US jumped last month, pushed higher by a surge in the cost of used cars and trucks and medical care commodities.
President Donald Trump rejected a bipartisan compromise to extend protections against deportations of young immigrants on Thursday and questioned why would he allow more immigrants coming from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa. On Friday the president denied having said the derogatory comments.
US retail sales grew more strongly than expected last month amid especially strong demand for building materials and for on-line retailers.
The EU will resist any renegotiation of fishing quotas in UK waters during any transition period after Brexit, the Guardian reported on Friday citing an unnamed EU diplomat.
Former Uber employees have confirmed the company routinely used a software system called Ripley to lock computers from tax investigators between 2015 and 2016.
US futures pointed to a firmer open on Wall Street on Friday, with investors sifting through earnings from the likes of BlackRock and JPMorgan ahead of retail sales and inflation data.
President Donald Trump has cancelled a planned trip to open the US embassy in London, claiming the cost and location of the new building was a “bad deal”.
Former UKIP leader and fanatical Brexiteer Nigel Farage performed the swiftest of u-turns on Friday when he backtracked on his call for a second EU referendum.