European stocks rose firmly higher in the opening hour of trading Friday as global financial markets attempted to claw back losses from a volatile week of trading sparked by an escalating political maelstrom that threatens to engulf the White House.
The region-wide Stoxx Europe 600 index, the broadest measure of share prices, was marked 0.4% higher at 390.72 points by 09:00 BST, with both financial and industrial stocks leading the advance. Switzerland's blue-chip SMI was the leading national benchmark, rising 0.66%, while Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.4% despite a stronger pound, which traded 0.33% higher against the U.S. dollar at 1.2983.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals plc (HKMPY) shares were an early mover of note, falling more than 5% to a year-to-date low of 1,616 pence each after the generic drugmaker lowered its full year revenue guidance Friday after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration expressed concern over its generic Advair Diskus product.
Markets in Asia were largely unchanged from their previous close, with investors gingerly returning to equities following the global market selloff. The region-wide MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was marked 0.01% higher by 09:00 BST while Japan's Nikkei 225 ended the session 0.2% higher at 19,590.76 points as the yen weakened against a resurgent U.S. dollar.
Stronger manufacturing activity data from the U.S. Thursday, in the form of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's regional business survey, allowed investors to add long positions in the greenback, which has fallen more than 1.4% this week in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to fire his FBI Director, James Comey, and revelations that his campaign team may have had extensive contacts with Russian officials - despite his repeated denials - in the run up to last year's elections.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback's strength against a basket of six global currencies, traded 0.01% lower at 97.51 after gaining around 0.3% in U.S. trading Thursday.
Global emerging market stocks, however, remained under pressure, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index again trading in the red Friday after falling 1.98% Thursday as investors backed away from risky bets amid the collapse in Brazil.
The country's embattled President, Michel Temer, defiantly refused to step down amid a corruption probe that has engulfed the government and pummelled financial markets in Latin America's biggest economy.
His statement followed one of the most chaotic sessions for the country's financial markets since the global financial crisis, with stocks on its benchmark Ibovespa falling more than 8% and the real plunging 7.5% against the U.S. dollar, the most since 1999, despite the intervention of the central bank of Brazil.
Global oil prices, meanwhile, are quietly testing one-month highs ahead of next week's OPEC meeting in Vienna, where ministers from the cartel's members are widely expected to extend and agreement on production cuts into the first quarter of 2018.
WTI futures for June delivery were marked 0.9% higher at $49.81 per barrel while Brent contracts for the same month, the global benchmark, traded 0.8% higher at $52.97 as European investors began to take control of prices.
U.S. equity futures prices suggest stocks will open little-changed from their Thursday close, where benchmarks ended the session with modest gains thanks in part to investors snapping up cheap shares following Wednesday's 378 point loss for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the biggest single-day decline for the S&P 500 in more than eight months.