Spanish stocks closed fractionally lower Thursday, catching their breath after the prior day's rally that was sparked by worries abating over Catalonia's independence push, while Europe's main equity benchmark also struggled for direction.
The U.S. stock market heralded the beginning of third-quarter earnings season by finishing slightly lower on Thursday, even as Wall Street banks turned in generally upbeat results.
Stocks showed little movement Friday as markets opened in the Asia Pacific region, but more new highs could be in store with Japan topping 21,000 for the first time since 1996. The Nikkei NIK, +0.94% rose 0.3% early, touching 21,032, even as the yen strengthened slightly. Japan's benchmark index hit a two-decade closing high during the week.