LONDON (Reuters) - Global shares edged lower on Friday but remained on course for their sixth straight month of gains as solid corporate earnings and central bank largesse kept sentiment intact, while the dollar held near a one-month low.
MSCI’s World index was last down 0.3%, leaving it broadly flat on the week, but up 1.1% for the month, just shy of a record high.
Markets remain in a tussle, though, as a Chinese crackdown on its technology sector and rising cases of the Delta coronavirus variant range against still-Dovish monetary policy and punchy earnings from a range of companies.
In Europe, UniCredit, BNP Paribas and Eni saw profits rise on Friday. But underwhelming numbers overnight from Amazon -- as some developed market economies begin to reopen after lockdown -- proved it was not all one-way traffic.
“We have a bit of day-to-day volatility, but the overall market is quite strong,” said Hans Stoter, global head of core investments at AXA Investment Managers.
“It’s largely still a function of limited alternatives available, with a still attractive pick up in return versus the more risk-free alternatives.”
Bank of America analysts, however, said they had turned “neutral” on European equities after a 60% rally year-to-date, saying they expected the STOXX Europe 600 to remain close to current levels of 460 until early in the fourth quarter.
Across Europe, the STOXX Europe 600 pulled back from its lows to trade down 0.6%, tracking overnight weakness in Asia where the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was down 1.1%.
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street, down 0.6% to 1.1%, after robust earnings and solid second-quarter U.S. growth numbers had helped blue-chips in the world’s biggest economy hit a record high.