The broad-based major European indices closed higher in Friday trading as automotive and mining stocks helped buoy the markets.
In economic news, euro area (EA19) exports of goods to the rest of the world in July was EUR194.6 billion ($227 billion), an increase of 9.4% compared with July, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Imports from the rest of the world stood at EUR177.1 billion, a rise of 13.4% compared with July 2017. As a result, the euro area recorded a EUR17.6 billion surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in July, compared with EUR21.6 billion during the same month last year. Intra-euro area trade rose to EUR162.3 billion in July, up 9.3% from July 2017.
And for the EU28 countries, exports of goods in July was EUR170.4 billion, up 9.6% compared with July of 2017. Imports from the rest of the world stood at EUR170.4 billion, up 15.4% compared with the year-ago month. As a result, the EU28 recorded a EUR0.1 billion surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in July, compared with EUR7.8 billion in July 2017. Intra-EU28 trade rose to EUR288.0 billion in July, a 8.7% rise from July 2017.
Eurostat also reported that hourly labor costs rose 2.2% in the euro area (EA19) and 2.6% in the EU28 in Q2, compared with the same quarter last year. In Q1, hourly labor costs increased 2.1% and 2.8% respectively.
In the euro area, the cost of wages and salaries per hour worked grew 1.9%, and the non-wage component gained 2.9% in Q2 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In Q1, the annual changes were +1.8% and +2.8% respectively. In the EU28, both the costs of hourly wages and salaries, and the non-wage component rose 2.6% in Q2. In Q1, annual changes were +2.7% and +3.1% respectively.
The highest annual increases in hourly labor costs for the whole economy in Q2 were registered in Romania (+15.6%), Latvia (+11.7%) and Hungary (+10.2%), while the lowest annual increases in hourly labor costs were recorded in Luxembourg (+0.6%), Spain (+0.7%) and the Netherlands (+0.9%).
In Italy, the consumer price index increased 0.4% in August on monthly basis, and 1.6% compared with August 2017, up from 1.5% in July, according to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat). The flash estimate was +1.7%.
In equities, travel company TUI, and luxury goods company Burberry Group led the FTSE higher in London climbing 3.8% and 3.4% respectively, followed by automobile company Roll Royce, sales, marketing and support services group DCC, and consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser, which were up 2.7% each. Mining companies also help lift the market, as Anglo America, Evraz, and Antofagasta rose 2.3%, 1.8%, and 1.6% respectively.
In Frankfurt, pharmaceutical firm Bayer, and automaker Volkswagen helped push the DAX into positive territory rising 2.4% an 2.3% respectively, followed by semiconductor company Infineon, and adhesives manufacturer Covestro, which were up 2.1% and 1.3%. Industrial gases company Linde and airline operator Lufthansa each closed 1.2% higher. Reinsurance firm Munich Re increased 1.1%.
In Paris, auto parts suppler Valeo, and automaker Renault led the CAC higher, rising 4.6% and 2.9% respectively, followed by facilities management services provider Sodexo, and semiconductor company STMicroelectronics increased 2.1% and 2%. Public relations company Publicis Groupe and oilfield services firm TechnipFMC each closed 1.8% higher, while steel and mining company ArcelorMittal climbed 1.6%.
The FTSE gained 0.65%, the DAX climbed 0.57% and the Cac-40 closed up 0.46%.