U.S. stock futures also retreated amid a volatile premarket trade on Friday morning, after the pop in interest rates pushed the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite to its worst trading session since October. The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note briefly surpassed 1.6% on Thursday, its highest in over a year, fueled by expectations for higher economic growth and inflation on the back of Covid vaccine rollouts, the prospect of significant fiscal stimulus from Washington and pent-up consumer demand. The 10-year rate mellowed considerably on Friday morning, last seen at 1.4805%, which softened the stock market losses.
U.K. bond yields rose on Friday after Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane warned that inflation may become difficult to tame, prompting more assertive policy action. In Europe, corporate earnings reports came from British Airways parent IAG, LafargeHolcim, BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Suez and Engie.