(RTTNews.com) - The majority of the European markets ended Friday's session with modest losses. Traders were in a cautious mood heading into the weekend, especially with the Christmas holiday approaching.
The threat of a U.S. government shutdown also weighed on sentiment at the end of the trading week. Lawmakers appear to be at an impasse over funding for President Donald Trump's controversial wall on the border with Mexico. The Senate is not expected to pass a spending bill including wall funding, as Democratic votes would be needed to reach the 60-vote threshold.
Meanwhile, traders were encouraged by comments from New York Federal Reserve President John Williams. In an interview with CNBC, Williams stated, "What we're going to be doing going into next year is re-assessing our views on the economy, listening to not only markets but everybody that we talk to, looking at all the data and being ready to reassess and re-evaluate our views."
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.02 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks increased 0.01 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.09 percent.
The DAX of Germany climbed 0.21 percent and the CAC of France rose 0.04 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.03 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.03 percent.
In Frankfurt, Volkswagen rose 0.84 percent on reports that it plans to eliminate about 7,000 jobs at its Hannover and Emden plants in Germany in the coming years.
Online food delivery firm Delivery Hero SE soared 10.72 percent. The company is selling its German food delivery businesses Lieferheld, Pizza.de and foodora to Takeaway.com.
In Paris, Renault climbed 1.27 percent. According to media reports, Carlos Ghosn, the former Chairman of Nissan Motor Co Ltd., was re-arrested by Japan authorities on new allegations of financial misconduct. The new charges will help the authorities to extend his detention.
In London, Anglo American advanced 2.84 percent after resuming operations at its Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil.
Plastics company RPC Group fell 0.99 percent after it extended a deadline for Apollo Global Management to make a firm bid for the company.
Vodafone lost 2.24 percent after it decided to replace PricewaterhouseCoopers as auditors amid a legal dispute over the collapse of phone retailer Phones 4U.
Danske Bank decreased 0.77 percent in Copenhagen after issuing another profit warning.
Germany's consumer confidence is set to remain steady at the start of next year as households as the divide between expectations on overall economic situation and personal finances widened further.
The forward-looking consumer confidence indicator is set to show a reading of 10.4 in January, unchanged from December, the market research group GfK said Friday. Economists had forecast a score of 10.3 for January.
Germany's import price growth slowed to its lowest level in six months in November, after an acceleration in the previous month, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Friday.
The import price index rose 3.1 percent annually in November following a 4.8 percent increase in October. The latest gain was fastest since May, when import prices rose 2.9 percent from a year ago
Export prices increased 1.7 percent year-on year in November, but fell 0.1 percent from the previous month.
British business investment fell for three consecutive quarters, marking its weakest period since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, as businesses reduced spending due to the Brexit chaos.
Business investment decreased 1.1 percent sequentially in the third quarter, falling for a third consecutive quarter.
Investment declined for such a long duration for the first time since the economic downturn of 2008-2009, the Office for National Statistics said.
Reflecting downward revisions to consumer spending and exports, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing slightly slower than previously estimated U.S. economic growth in the third quarter.
The report said real gross domestic product surged up by 3.4 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously estimated 3.5 percent jump. The pace of GDP growth had been expected to be unrevised.
After reporting a steep drop in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing a rebound in durable goods orders in the month of November.
The Commerce Department said durable goods orders climbed by 0.8 percent in November after plunging by 4.3 percent in October. Economists had expected durable goods orders to jump by 1.6 percent.
Personal income in the U.S. increased by slightly less than expected in the month of November, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday, although the report also showed slightly stronger than expected personal spending growth.
The Commerce Department said personal spending edged up by 0.2 percent in November after climbing by 0.5 percent in October. Economists had expected personal income to rise by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the report said personal spending climbed by 0.4 percent in November after jumping by an upwardly revised 0.8 percent in October.
Personal spending had been expected to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
Revised data released by the University of Michigan on Friday unexpectedly showed an improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of December. The report said the consumer sentiment index for December was upwardly revised to 98.3 from a preliminary reading of 97.5. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.
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