The Dow Jones added 135 points, to close at a fresh record high of 40,003, the S&P 500 edged higher by 0.1%, while the Nasdaq finished slightly lower. The focus on interest rates and inflation continues to dominate market discussions, with investors closely monitoring economic data and statements from Fed officials for any changes in rate expectations. On the corporate front, Shares of Walmart and Caterpillar added 1% and 1.5%, respectively, pushing the Dow Higher. Reddit shares surged 10% after the company announced a content partnership with OpenAI. In contrast, Meme stocks declined for a third session, with GameStop falling 19.7% and AMC dropping 5.2%. On the week, the S&P 500 added 1.4% and the Nasdaq advanced 1.9%, both marking a fourth consecutive winning week, which would be a first since February. The Dow booked its fifth positive week in a row, with a 0.9% gain for the period.

The DAX held early losses and closed 0.2% lower at 18,704 on Friday, extending the previous session loss, and in line with a muted session for European equities. ECB member Schnabel said the central bank should be cautious about rate cuts beyond June. At the same time, mixed data coming out of China also weighed on investors' mood. On the corporate front, Siemens lost 1.4% to a 4-week low of €172 and Zalando slipped 3.2% to stretch its poor momentum. The financial sector, however, was in the green, with Deutsche Boerse (1.6%) and Commerzbank (2%) booking gains. On the week, the DAX edged 0.5% lower despite hitting a record-high on Wednesday.

The BSE Sensex rose 253 points, or 0.3%, to close at 73,917 on Friday, its highest in over two weeks, marking the second straight session of gains. Mahindra & Mahindra witnessed a significant surge of nearly 6% in its share price, buoyed by strong financial results for the March quarter and positive outlook commentary from brokerage firms. Metal stocks also advanced, benefiting from factors such as a cooling US inflation and measures from China to stimulate its housing market. For the week, the BSE posted a 1.7% rise, a reversal from a steep loss in the prior week, largely due to positive Q4 earnings.

The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.3% to close at 38,787 while the broader Topix Index rose 0.3% to 2,746 on Friday, reversing gains from the previous session, taking cues from a weak lead on Wall Street overnight as some profit-taking hit the market following a rally to record highs. Meanwhile, data earlier this week showed that Japan’s economy contracted at an annualized 2% in the first quarter of 2024, coming in worse than market expectations for a 1.5% contraction as private consumption fell for the fourth straight quarter. Notable losses were seen from index heavyweights such as Tokyo Electron (-2%), Nippon Tel (-1.4%), Shin-Etsu Chemical (-1.5%), Nintendo (-1.1%), and Fast Retailing (-0.9%). Conversely, strong gains were seen from Toyota Motors (2.5%), Mitsubishi UFJ (2%), and Sumitomo Mitsui (3.4%).

The S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.9% to close 7,814 on Friday, giving back some gains from the previous session and taking cues from a weak lead on Wall Street overnight as major averages retreated slightly from record highs. Meanwhile, in key trading partner China, industrial production grew more than expected in April, while retail sales and fixed asset investment increased less than anticipated. Heavyweight banks led the decline, with losses from Commonwealth Bank (-1%), National Australia Bank (-0.1%), Macquarie Group (-1.3%), and ANZ Group (-0.5%). Healthcare, technology, and retail stocks also slumped. On the other hand, heavyweight miners advanced on firmer iron ore prices, including BHP Group (0.8%), Rio Tinto (1.4%) and Fortescue (1.2%). The benchmark index advanced 0.8% this week, marking its fourth consecutive weekly gain.

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