European stocks climbed on Friday to close out a winning week amid the prospect of a steady economic rebound and fears of a tapering of monetary stimulus.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 eked out a 0.1% gain Friday, bringing its weekly gain to 1.2%. Shares in Asia-Pacific broadly advanced during Friday's trade, led by Hong Kong's Hang Seng index and mainland China, while South Korea's Kospi closed at a record high. U.S. stocks traded higher as the S&P 500 heads for its best week since April.
Wall Street extended gains after a key inflation indicator that the Federal Reserve uses to set policy rose 3.4% in May, the fastest increase since the early 1990s, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The reading matched the expectation from economists polled by Dow Jones. The core index rose 0.5% for the month, which actually was below the 0.6% estimate.
The core personal consumption expenditures price index increase reflects the rapid pace of economic expansion and resulting price pressures, and amplified how far the nation has come since the pandemic-induced shutdown of 2020.
In Europe, the U.K. is set to publish plans next month to lift travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people, except those at the highest Covid-19 risk level.
Meanwhile, the Bank of England on Thursday forecast inflation surpassing 3% at its peak before cooling down, but insisted the spike above its 2% target would be transitory and kept its monetary stimulus at full throttle.
Germany's GFK consumer sentiment index, published before the bell Friday, showed consumer confidence in Europe's largest economy rising to -0.3 points heading into July, vastly outstripping a consensus forecast of -4.0, and up from -6.9 the previous month.
At the bottom of the index, Switzerland's Vifor Pharma fell a further 5% after announcing Thursday that it would revise a key study after the pandemic affected the recruitment of participants, with data now expected in the second half of 2022.
– CNBC's Maggie Fitzgerald contributed to this report.
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