Major container companies such as Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd have avoided the Red Sea since last month because of the attacks and are now circling Africa. This diversion makes the trip longer and costs hundreds of dollars more per container in fuel and other supplies. Oil prices are also rising on fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East. U.S. oil prices rose 2.3 percent to $73.70 a barrel. Brent crude rose 2.2 percent to $79.14 a barrel.
Investors are also looking at figures from major US banks such as JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America. It officially kicks off earnings season on Wall Street. Manufacturer prices are also announced in the US. US consumer prices rose slightly faster than expected in December on Thursday.
The AEX index appears to be starting higher, with other European stock markets also expected to open with gains. Asian stock markets were mostly lower on Friday. The Nikkei in Tokyo continued its advance and rose 1.5 percent. The Hong Kong stock market lost 0.3 percent after disappointing China economic data. For example, Chinese exports fell in 2023 for the first time in seven years. China also faced negative inflation again in November, also known as deflation.
At Damrak, insurer ASR can benefit from JP Morgan's buy recommendation. Chemical distributor IMCD, on the other hand, faces headwinds from the advisory downgrade. The stock was put on a sell list by analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley. The technology investor received a buy recommendation from process investment bank Redburn.
The euro was at $1.0975, down from $1.0946 the previous day.
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