Global stocks retreated Friday as a fall in commodity prices, upcoming political tests in Europe and concerns about the pace of a recent rally on Wall Street combined to keep investors cautious.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1% in the early minutes of trading, following losses in Asia and a mixed finish on Wall Street. The basic resources and oil and gas sectors were the worst performers as Brent crude oil fell 1.2% to $53.30 a barrel and copper futures shed 0.5% to $5,763 a ton.

Some investors were also nervous ahead of Sunday's Italian referendum on constitutional reform, amid concerns that a period of political uncertainty in Italy could add to pressure on the country's beleaguered lenders. Italy's FTSE MIB index was down 0.8% on Friday but was still in positive territory so far this month.

Earlier, stocks in Hong Kong fell 1.3%, while markets in Australia shed 1% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average declined 0.5% following a soft session on Wall Street.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was unchanged from 2.444% on Thursday, its highest since June 2015, while Italian yields fell to 1.985% from 2.033%. Yields move inversely to prices.

In currencies, the dollar inched down slightly as investors looked ahead to the monthly U.S. jobs report, due later Friday. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates in December unless the report is far off the mark.

Write to Riva Gold at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 02, 2016 04:05 ET (09:05 GMT)

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