European stocks finished at their lowest in a week Thursday, as investors considered a signal from the European Central Bank that it's positioning for a more hawkish view on monetary policy. Retailers, meanwhile, struggled after the release of disappointing financial updates from the sector that included the key Christmas shopping period.
U.S. stock benchmarks resumed their climb to close at records on Thursday, a day after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq suffered the first down day of the year on anxieties about appetite for Treasurys from the world's second-largest economy, China.
Asian stocks resumed their ascent on Friday, supported by US earnings optimism and a rise in oil prices while the euro edged higher as the European Central Bank signalled an end to its massive stimulus.
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