SINGAPORE/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Asian stocks inched up on Friday, despite Wall Street declines, bu
MSCI's gauge of stock markets around the globe rose 0.12 percent for the day and 0.094 percent for the week, the fourth straight weekly increase.
The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index and the Dow edged lower as tepid economic data weighed on banks and worries deepened over Nordstrom Inc, J.C. Penney and other department stores after weak earnings reports.
The S&P closed lower and fell for the first week in four as weak economic data weighed on financial shares.
A less-than-expected 0.4 percent month-over-month increase in April retail sales and below-expectations report on consumer prices stirred fears about the retail sector as well as the economy.
"The numbers were light again. People don't seem to be spending money despite employment and income numbers being good. It's concerning," said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.81 points, or 0.11 percent, to 20,896.61; the S&P 500 lost 3.54 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,390.9 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.27 points, or 0.09 percent, to 6,121.23.
The dollar index, which tracks the currency against a basket of six major rivals, fell 0.45 percent to 99.177.
The U.S. Treasuries market rallied with benchmark 10-year yields posting the biggest one-day drop in more than three weeks, spurred lower by the weaker-than-expected retail sales and inflation data that diminished the view the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates more than once for the rest of the year.
"With the CPI report today, the market is concerned about inflation," said Thomas Roth, head of Treasury trading at MUFG Securities America in New York.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell 7 basis points to 2.33 percent, while the 30-year yield was 5 basis points lower at 2.99 percent.
In Europe, stock markets steadied this week. Their outperformance this year against global peers remains intact, with the benchmark's 10 percent gains outpacing the 7 percent rise on the S&P 500.
Emerging markets bourses continued their outperformance as well, with MSCI's emerging markets index rising 0.2 percent and touching a fresh two-year high. The gauge has posted year-to-date gains of more than 15 percent.
Oil prices edged higher to score their biggest weekly gain in more than a month as traders expected OPEC-led production cuts to extend beyond the middle of this year and as U.S. crude inventories fell to their lowest levels since February.
International Brent crude futures stood at $50.89 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $47.90 per barrel.
Gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,227 an ounce. Copper also gained 0.3 percent after hitting a one-week high in the previous session with investors encouraged by top copper consumer China's easing of monetary policy to stimulate growth. –Reuters