Europe set to sour the U.S. sugar high

A look at the day ahead in markets from Alun John

European economic data takes centre stage on Friday, with investors in risk assets fearing old world doom and gloom will darken the mood after the recent U.S. double whammy of higher than expected employment and cooler than expected inflation.

British second quarter GDP data is due at 0600 GMT, with the main question being whether the recession which the Bank of England thinks will start at the end of this year could come sooner.

A Reuters poll of analysts expect UK GDP is expected to have shed 0.3% in the second quarter from 0.4% growth in the first three months of the year.

The pound was a whisker softer ahead of the data at $1.2193 and 85 pence per euro , holding just above the previous day’s two and-a-half-week low.

Also on the agenda are both euro zone and British industrial production and French and Spanish CPI, and little good news is expected for a continent grappling with soaring energy prices and drought.

Markets in Asia largely rested on Friday after a busy week.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was steady, and set for a 1% weekly gain, benchmark U.S. 10-year yields edged down a couple of basis points, and the dollar languished after its bruising earlier in the week.

Key developments that could influence markets on Friday:

UK Jun GDP estimate (m/m)

UK Jun output data, trade balance, business investment

France, Spain, Jul CPI final

Euro zone Jun industrial production

US Jul import/ export prices

US Aug University of Michigan sentiment index