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European stocks set to extend gains; UK retail sales better than expected; NatWest posts profit beat

·1 min

European stocks are expected to open higher on Friday after two positive sessions. UK retail sales exceeded expectations, showing a 3.4% increase month-on-month. NatWest reported a 20% rise in pre-tax profit, beating expectations. Asian stocks were higher, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 hitting a 34-year high. US stock futures were mixed after the S&P 500 closed at a record high. Coinbase shares rose over 14% in after-hours trading after posting its first quarterly profit since 2021. Japan’s finance minister is closely monitoring the yen’s moves. Analysts are waiting for clear signals from Beijing for aggressive policy easing. Morgan Stanley highlighted AI beneficiaries in Japan that have the potential for outperformance. The S&P 500 reached a new record closing high.