By RTT News,
January 03, 2014, 11:57:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The European markets rebounded from the weakness of the previous trading session on Friday. Thursday's weakness was caused by weak Chinese manufacturing data and profit taking. Investors largely shrugged off the weak Chinese service sector data at the end of the week. Retailers were among the best performing stocks Friday, after Next boosted its full year forecast.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks increased by 0.47 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.43 percent.
The DAX of Germany climbed by 0.37 percent and the CAC 40 of France advanced by 0.48 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. rose by 0.19 percent and the SMI of Switzerland gained 0.82 percent.
In Frankfurt, potash maker K+S gained 2.15 percent. Steel giant ThyssenKrupp advanced by 1.43 percent while carmaker Daimler added 0.03 percent.
In Paris, Renault gained 0.36 percent and Veolia Environnement added 0.56 percent. Sanofi increased by 1.48 percent.
Remy Cointreau fell by 3.20 percent, after the resignation of its Chief Executive.
In London, Next surged by 11.65 percent. The retailer reported a strong growth in sales for the first 2 months of the fourth quarter, and lifted its full-year forecast for profit. The firm also announced a special dividend.
Marks & Spencer also increased by 3.91 percent. Debenhams finished higher by 3.93 percent, after it announced that its CFO, Simon Herrick, resigned.
Barclays upgraded Schroders to ''Overweight'' from ''Underweight.'' The stock gained 1.19 percent.
Speedy Hire climbed by 3.50 percent, following a positive broker recommendation at Peel Hunt.
Finmeccanica rose by 1.84 percent in Milan. The company's AgustaWestland unit, whose orders for 12 VVIP/VIP helicopters were canceled by the Government of India, said it remains committed to working with the Government of India to resolve the issues.
An index measuring non-manufacturing business activity in China posted a seasonally adjusted score of 54.6 in December, the latest survey from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing revealed on Friday. The headline figure remains comfortably above the boom-or-bust score of 50 that separates expansion from contraction, although the December reading is down sharply from 56.0 in November.
Unemployment in Spain declined notably in December, marking the best result on record for the month, a report from the Labor Ministry showed Friday. The number of people registered as unemployed in the country fell by 107,570 in December from the previous month. Also, this was the second biggest fall in the figure since records began.
U.K. house price growth accelerated more than expected at the end of 2013, data from Nationwide revealed Friday. House prices increased 8.4 percent year-on-year in December, after rising 6.5 percent in November. The annual growth rate was forecast to rise to 7.1 percent.
U.K. mortgage approvals increased for the ninth consecutive month in November, the Bank of England said Friday. The number of loans approved for house purchases was 70,758 in November, up from 68,029 in October. Approvals also exceeded the 69,700 level forecast by economists.
The U.K.'s construction sector growth moderated in December as new order inflows eased, results of a survey by Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) revealed Friday. The headline seasonally-adjusted purchasing managers' index fell to 62.1 in December from November's 75-month peak of 62.6. Economists had forecast a decline in the index to 62.
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