EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Slip; Shire Leads FTSE Gains

By Dow Jones Business News, 

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- European stock markets ended the week on a soft note, but pulled off the day's lows as investors cast aside geopolitical concerns tied to the crash of a Malaysia Airlines jet in Ukraine a day earlier.

Shares of Shire PLC climbed 4% after U.S. drug maker AbbVie Inc. ( ABBV ) confirmed it will buy the London-listed pharmaceutical firm in a deal valued at $54 billion.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed down 0.1% at 339.66, adding to a 0.9% decline from Thursday. Indexes pared losses as U.S. stocks opened higher. The U.K.FTSE 100 ended with small gains and near the day's highs.

Russia's MICEX index dropped 1.3% to 1,422.50, its a fifth straight day in the red. Read: Russian stocks slide after MH17 crash

The losses came after a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was downed over eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile on Thursday, killing everyone on board. Both Ukraine and Russia deny responsibility and blame each other for the tragedy.

U.S. intelligence agencies say evidence leads them to believe that separatists in eastern Ukraine or the Russian military launched the missile that downed Flight MH17.

Europe movers

Among national markets, the U.K.'sFTSE 100 index rose 0.2% to 6,749.45, and France's CAC 40 index added 0.4% at 4,335.31. But Germany's DAX 30 index gave up 0.4% to 9,720.02.

U.K. banking shares were mixed after the country's antitrust authority called for an in-depth investigations into competition in the banking market. The U.K retail and business banking is dominated by four banks: Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LYG), which added 0.3%; Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS), which fell 1.4%; HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBC) , which ended unchanged; and Barclays PLC ( BCS ), which rose 0.8%.

British Land Co. PLC climbed 2.4% as Barclays increased its price target on the company to 936 pence from 695 pence, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Elsewhere, Volvo AB shares slumped 5% after the Swedish truck maker said European demand isn't recovering as fast as expected and that order intake dropped 6% in the second quarter.

Most airline shares declined in the wake of the MH17 crash, with Air France-KLM SA down 2% and Deutsche Lufthansa AG 1.1% lower. But easyJet PLC gained 0.5%.

Daimler AG gave up 1.7% after Credit Suisse downgraded the German car maker to neutral from outperform.

Shares of LM Ericsson Telefon AB jumped 8.2% after the mobile-network company reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations.

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This article appears in: Commodities

Referenced Stocks: 3786 , ABBV , AF , AFLYY , BCS

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