Stocks in most Asian and European markets were down Friday, the last trading day of October, after indexes worldwide rallied in previous weeks to finish off their strongest month in years. Investor sentiment stayed buoyant through the month as many central banks around the world held fast to market-friendly monetary policies.
"Continued expectation of easier central bank policy has helped underpin equity markets after a turbulent few months," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London, told Reuters.
Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.37 percent after earnings from Royal Bank of Scotland and British Airways operator IAG failed to impress investors, while Germany's DAX was down 0.48 percent and France's CAC 40 was down 0.29 percent. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was also down 0.37 percent. In the United States, indicators hinted at a positive start with stock futures on the S&P500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq indexes all up about 0.1 percent.
In Asia, apart from Japan’s Nikkei 225, which was up 0.78 percent, Asian shares ended their strong performance during the month on a soft note. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.8 percent, South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.23 percent and India’s Sensex ended 0.68 percent lower. China's Shanghai Composite Stock Exchange lost 0.14 percent while the Shenzhen Component was down 0.79 percent and the Nasdaq-style ChiNext index was down over 0.28 percent.