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European stocks drift after Asian gains; Metals rally

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index traded little changed after shares across Asia built on gains from a day earlier.

European stocks struggled for traction after two days rising while Asian stocks climbed to the highest in almost a month on continued optimism over global growth. Commodities jumped as metals including aluminum and nickel extended their rally.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index traded little changed after shares across Asia built on gains from a day earlier. Miners outperformed amid the commodity rally, and energy firms climbed in the wake of an industry report showing crude inventories declining.

West Texas oil also rose. U.S. Treasury yields steadied after climbing to 2.87% Thursday in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report that showed a solid outlook for the economy despite trade concerns.

The yen slipped as U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to work closely on bilateral trade.

With investor optimism on the economy being tested by the flattening yield curve, geopolitical tensions continued to show signs of dissipating this week. The U.S. said it has already started direct talks with North Korea and Russian leader Vladimir Putin was said to be seeking to dial down tensions with America. Japan’s Abe said he agreed with Trump to start talks on trade deals with America as their summit in Florida ended. Elsewhere, the Australian dollar fluctuated after employment in the country rose less than forecast in March, suggesting the central bank will need to keep interest rates on hold.