(RTTNews.com) - The European markets ended Thursday's session with mixed results. Traders were in a cautious mood amid a monetary policy announcement from the Bank of England and also kept a close eye on the latest developments in Brexit negotiations.
The U.K. and the European Union have reportedly reached a tentative deal that would grant U.K. companies continued access to European markets after Brexit.
The U.K. and EU negotiators entered into a tentative deal on all aspects of a future partnership on services, as well as the exchange of data, the Times of London reported.
Bank of England policymakers unanimously decided to maintain the monetary policy stance at a meeting but signaled faster rate hikes than current market expectations over Brexit uncertainties.
Although the impact of Brexit cannot be determined in advance, the Monetary Policy Committee vowed to respond to any material change in the outlook.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index edged up 0.2 percent. The Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, also inched up 0.1 percent, while the Euro Stoxx 50 index closed marginally lower.
While the German DAX Index rose 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'sFTSE 100 Index both dipped by 0.2 percent.
In Frankfurt, Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor soared 5.8 percent after unveiling long-term underlying financial targets.
Mining giant BHP Billiton rose 3 percent in London after announcing a share buyback and special dividend.
BT Group shares jumped 8.6 percent. After reporting a rise in first-half earnings, the broadband company said it expects FY18 EBITDA to be at the upper end of range.
Smith & Nephew climbed 6.6 percent after reporting a rise in Q3 revenue and confirming FY18 view.
ING jumped 7.5 percent in Amsterdam after it reported encouraging earnings results on an underlying basis. ASM International also soared after issuing a bullish outlook.
Arcelor Mittal rose 0.8 percent. The world's largest steelmaker reported a profit for third quarter that dropped from the same period last year as a result of impairment charges.
On the other hand, Credit Suisse tumbled 2.1 percent in Zurich after posting weaker-than-expected third quarter earnings.
The U.K. manufacturing sector grew at the slowest pace in more than two years in October, survey results from IHS Markit and Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed Thursday. The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a 27-month low of 51.1 in October from revised 53.6 in September. The score was forecast to drop moderately to 53.0.
U.K. house prices rose at the slowest pace in nearly five-and-a-half years in October, figures from the Nationwide Building Society showed on Thursday. The house price index rose 1.6 percent year-on-year following a 2 percent increase in September. Economists had forecast a 1.90 percent gain.
China's manufacturing sector expanded only slightly in October as output remained broadly unchanged amid marginal increase in new business, survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday. The Caixin Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 50.1 in October versus 50.0 in September. The reading was expected to remain unchanged at neutral level of 50.0.
A day ahead of the release of the more closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a slight drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 27th.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 214,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level of 216,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to come in unchanged compared to the 215,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Labor productivity growth in the U.S. slowed in the third quarter, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, with the report also showing a rebound in unit labor costs.
The Labor Department said labor productivity climbed by 2.2 percent in the third quarter after jumping by 3.0 percent in the second quarter. Economists had expected productivity to increase by about 2.0 percent.
Meanwhile, the report said unit labor costs surged up by 1.2 percent in the third quarter after slumping by 1.0 percent in the second quarter. The rebound in labor costs matched economist estimates.
A report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Thursday showed a bigger than expected slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of October.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index dropped to 57.7 in October from 59.8 in September, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 59.0.
Construction spending in the U.S. came in virtually unchanged in the month of September, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.
The Commerce Department said construction spending in September was estimated at an annual rate of $1.33 trillion, nearly the same as the revised August estimate. Economists had expected spending to inch up by 0.1 percent.
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