(RTTNews.com) - The majority of the European markets ended Friday's session in the red. The markets were stuck in a sideways pattern throughout the day, as investors exercised caution ahead of the weekend.
Traders continue to keep a close eye on the political situation in Italy. Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League reached an agreement to form a coalition government that could assume power as early as next week.
Uncertainty about the outcome of the second round of trade talks between the U.S. and China also weighed on investor sentiment.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 0.30 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks decreased 0.51 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.32 percent.
The DAX of Germany dropped 0.28 percent and the CAC of France fell 0.13 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.12 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 0.53 percent.
In London, AstraZeneca fell 2.06 percent after the company reported a 37 percent decline in profits in the first quarter.
Richemont dropped 5.27 percent in Zurich. The luxury goods company's full year 2018 profit increased 1 percent to 1.221 billion euros from last year's 1.210 billion euros.
Ferrari fell 0.88 percent in Milan after Antonio Picca Piccon was appointed as CFO, effective July 30, replacing Alessandro Gili.
Eurozone trade surplus increased in March from a month earlier, as exports grew faster than imports, data from Eurostat showed Friday. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose to EUR 21.2 billion in March from EUR 20.9 billion in February.
The euro area current account surplus declined for the second straight month in March to the lowest level in nine months, the European Central Bank reported Friday. The current account surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 32.0 billion in March from EUR 36.8 billion in February.
Germany's consumer price inflation accelerated unexpectedly in April, though marginally, data from Destatis showed Friday. Producer price inflation rose to 2.0 percent in April from 1.9 percent in March. Meanwhile, the rate was forecast to slow to 1.8 percent.
Germany's wholesale price inflation accelerated in April after remaining stable in the previous month, data from Destatis showed Friday. Wholesale prices climbed 1.4 percent year-over-year in April, faster than March's 1.2 percent increase.
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