Investing.com - European stocks held steady in quiet trade on
Friday, after strong gains were posted on Thursday following
comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and as
downbeat German factory data weighed.
During European afternoon trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell
0.15%, France's CAC 40 eased 0.05%, while Germany's DAX dipped
European equities strengthened on Thursday after ECB President
Mario Draghi reiterated the bank's forward guidance that rates will
remain on hold at present or lower levels for an extended
He emphasized that "the governing council is also unanimous in
its commitment to use unconventional instruments' if necessary, to
address the risk of too-prolonged period of low inflation."
Earlier Friday, official data showed that German factory orders
dropped 1.7% in May, compared to expectations for a 1.0% decline,
after an increase of 3.4% in April, whose figure was revised up
from a previously estimated 3.1% rise.
Financial stocks pushed broadly lower, as French lenders Societe
Generale (PARIS:SOGN) and BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) plummeted 1.77%
and 1.72%, while Germany's Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) and Deutsche
Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) tumbled 1.82% and 1.18%.
Among peripheral lenders, Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) and
Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) plunged 2.26% and 2.31% respectively, while
Spanish banks BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN)
declined 0.78% and 1.04%.
Elsewhere, Alstom (PARIS:ALSO) jumped 1.71% even after France's
stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, ruled
on Thursday that the government had unwittingly forged a
shareholders' pact with Bouygues (PARIS:BOUY) when it agreed last
month to buy up to 20% of Alstom.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 inched up 0.06%, although
losses in the mining sector limited gains.
Shares in Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) edged down 0.08% and Rio
Tinto (LONDON:RIO) slid 0.33%, while Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES)
Financial stocks also remained mostly lower, as HSBC Holdings
(LONDON:HSBA) edged down 0.18% and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY)
dropped 0.52%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS)
retreated 0.84%. Barclays (LONDON:BARC) continued to overperform on
the other hand, up 0.33%.
Meanwhile, Easyjet (LONDON:EZJ) remained one of the top
performers on the index, up 1.85%. The airliner made headlines on
Thursday, after it was fined €60,000 for refusing to let a
partially paralysed woman fly unaccompanied to her son's
In the U.S., markets were to remain closed for the fourth of
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