Markets

European Stocks Close Mixed After Cautious Session

(RTTNews) - European stocks ended on a somewhat mixed note on Friday as investors largely refrained from making significant moves as they looked ahead to the outcome of the EU Summit.

Markets were also reacting to news about coronavirus cases, and economic data from the euro area and the U.S.

U.S.-China tensions continued to weigh on sentiment. Weak U.S. consumer sentiment data hurt as well.

EU leaders are set to hammer out details of a 750-billion-euro recovery fund today. They also need to agree on a seven-year budget worth another €1.07 trillion. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier today that the differences are very very big and she cannot say if there will be a solution this time. French President Emmanuel Macron said it was a "moment of truth" for Europe and the next hours would be decisive.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.16%. Among the major indices in Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX moved up 0.63% and 0.35%, respectively. France's CAC 40 declined 0.31% and Switzerland's SMI slid 0.22%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Poland and Spain closed lower.

Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Russia and Sweden finished on positive note, while Czech Republic, Netherlands and Turkey ended flat.

In economic news, eurozone inflation increased as initially estimated in June as many coronavirus containment measures have been gradually lifted, final data from Eurostat showed. Inflation rose to 0.3% from a near-four year low of 0.1% logged in May.

Headline inflation continued to remain well below the European Central Bank's target of "below, but close to 2%." Excluding food, alcohol and tobacco, core inflation slowed marginally to 0.8%, as estimated, from 0.9% in May.

On a monthly basis, the harmonized index of consumer prices gained 0.3% in June, in line with the estimate published on June 30.

Eurozone construction output grew for the first time in four months in May due to the easing of Covid-19 containment measures by member states, Eurostat reported on Friday. The construction output increased 27.9% month-on-month in May, after an 18.3% fall in April.

According to the Survey of Professional Forecasters published by the European Central Bank, Eurozone is set to contract sharply this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, According to the respondents of the SPF survey, the economy will shrink 8.3% this year, instead of 5.5% fall estimated previously.

However, growth forecast of 2021 was revised up to 5.7% from 4.3% and that for 2022 to 2.4% from 1.7%.

The inflation outlook for 2020 was retained at 0.4%, while the projection for next year was lowered to 1% from 1.2% and the estimate for 2022 to 1.3% from 1.4%.

The survey showed that expectations for peak in unemployment rate were pushed back to 2021. The jobless rate for this year is seen at 9.1% instead of 9.4%. The unemployment rate is seen at 9.3% next year and 8.5% in 2022.

In the U.K. market, AstraZeneca shares gained 3.85%. Fresnillo surged up 3.7%, while BHP Group, Antofagasta, Burberry Group, Mondi, Hikma Pharmaceutical, Vodafone, Rio Tinto and BAE Systems gained 2 to 2.5%.

On the other hand, Carnival shed 4.2% and Easyjet delined 3.75%. WPP, Meggitt, ITV, IAG, Melrose, Barclays, HSBC Holdings, Berkeley Group and Royal Dutch Shell lost 1.4 to 2.7%.

In the German market, Wirecard tumbled 5.6% and Thyssenkrupp declined 2.5%. Lufthansa ended lower by 1.75%, while Allianz and Deutsche Bank both ended lower by nearly 1%.

Daimler rallied 4.4%, Volkswagen gained 2.2% and BMW moved up 1.6%. Fresenius Medical Care, Infineon Technologies, Merck, Continental and Beiersdorf gained 1.2 to 2.5%.

In France, Atos and STMicroElectronics both ended stronger by over 2%. CapGemini, L'Oreal, Michelin and Dassault Systemes Group gained 0.9 to 1.2%.

Sodexo, Publicis Groupe, ArcelorMittal, Technip, Accor, Bouygues, Airbus Group and Societe Generale closed notably lower.

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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