Market focus is principally attuned to world commerce developments, with market people in wait-and-see mode as high-level U.S.-China commerce talks proceed in Beijing on Friday.
Both sides had talked about they’d been hopeful the newest set of negotiations, which began initially of the week, may convey them nearer to an entire settlement sooner than a March 1 deadline.
On Thursday, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow talked about there was no willpower to extend the deadline for a deal.
Meanwhile, U.S. retail product sales figures slipped 1.2 p.c in December, with receipts falling all through the board. It marked their largest drop since September 2009.
In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was down 0.8 p.c.