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European Equity Benchmarks Close Lower; Bank, Mining Stocks Burden Markets

The broad-based major European indices closed lower in Friday trading as banks and mining stocks weighed down the markets.

In economic news, euro area (EA19) exports of goods to the rest of the world in March was EUR199.9 billion ($235.4 billion), a decrease of 2.9% from March 2017, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Imports from the rest of the world stood at EUR173.0 billion, down 2.5% from March 2017 (EUR177.4 billion). As a result, the euro area recorded a EUR26.9 billion surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in March, compared with EUR28.5 billion in March 2017. Intra-euro area trade fell to EUR170.5 billion in March, down 0.6% from March 2017.

Extra-EU28 exports of goods in March was EUR172.1 billion, down 2.4% from March 2017 (EUR176.4 billion). Imports from the rest of the world stood at EUR160.6 billion, down 4.2% from March 2017 (EUR167.7 billion). As a result, the EU28 recorded a EUR11.5 billion surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in March, compared with EUR8.7 billion in March 2017. Intra-EU28 trade fell to EUR305.2 billion in March, down 1.7% from March 2017.

In the UK, the approximate gross value added at basic prices (aGVA) of the UK non-financial business economy was estimated to be GBP1.19 trillion ($1.6 trillion) in 2016, reported the Office for National Statistics ( ONS ). This was an increase of 3.6% (GBP41.5 billion) compared with 2015. The estimate of aGVA represents the income of UK businesses, less the cost of goods and services consumed in the production process (purchases). All four main sectors of the non-financial business economy - production, construction, distribution and non-financial services - continued to show growth in 2016, said the ONS.

And in Germany, the index of producer prices for industrial products rose 2.0% in April compared with the same month last year, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). In March the annual rate of change all over had been 1.9. Compared with the preceding month, the overall index rose 0.5% in April, after gaining 0.1% in March, and falling 0.1% in February.

The price indices of all main industrial groups increased In April compared with April 2017: Energy prices were up 3.2%, with electricity increasing by 6.1%, petroleum products rising 3.3%, and prices of natural gas (distribution) up 0.4%. Prices of intermediate goods increased 2.1%. Prices of non-durable consumer goods rose 1.1%, and durable consumer goods was up 1.5%, while prices of capital goods increased 1.2%.

Destatis also reported that the selling prices in wholesale trade increased by 1.4% in April compared with the year-ago month. In March and February the annual rates of change were +1.2%, each, and from March to April the index rose by 0.5%.

In equities, mining stocks helped weigh down the FTSE in London as Glencore International, Evraz, and Anglo America fell 4.4%, 2.3%, and 1.2% respectively. Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, and retailer Marks and Spencer Group were down 2% and 1.9%, while chemicals company Johnson Matthey, and insurance firm Old Mutual closed 1.8% and 1.5% lower.

In Frankfurt, automaker BMW, and telecommunications provider Deutsche Telekom led the DAX lower, falling 5.1% and 4.9% respectively, followed by kidney dialysis company Fresenius Medical Care, which lost 2.2%. Deutsche Bank was down 1.9%, while airline Lufthansa, and bank Commerzbank each closed 1.8% lower.

In Paris, semiconductor company STMicroelectronics, and telecommunications, media, and construction conglomerate Bouygues led the CAC into negative territory, losing 1.9% and 1.8% respectively, followed by telecommunications company Orange, and media company Vivendi, which fell 1.6% each. Banks Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas, and Societe Generale we off 1.4%, 1%, and 0.5% respectively. Steel and mining company ArcelorMittal declined 1.3%, while chemicals company Solvay, and automaker Renault shed 1% and 0.9%.

The FTSE lost 0.12%, the DAX fell 0.28%, and the CAC-40 dropped 0.13%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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