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European Stocks Flip-Flop in Early Trade as Consumer Equities, Telecoms Move Higher

European equity benchmarks were struggling for direction on Friday morning with major stock gauges ricocheting between gains and declines against a backdrop of mixed earnings reports.

In economic news, new orders in Germany's main construction industry were up by 16.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to data published by the federal statistics office, Destatis.

Separate data released by Destatis showed that the German economy continued to grow at the end of 2017, with gross domestic product having increased by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the previous quarter.

In equities, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG.L) was leading decliners on London's FTSE 100 Index, down by 5.1% after the company unveiled a year-on-year decline in its fourth quarter operating profit before exceptional items. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L), 4.3% lower and aerospace and defense company BAE Systems (BA.L), down by 2.4%. Micro Focus International (MCRO.L), a software and information technology business, was 1.6% lower.

On Frankfurt's DAX, Deutsche Telekom (DTE.DE), a telecommunications company, was 2.8% higher, housing association Vonovia (VNA.DE) was up by 1.2% and E.on (EOAN.DE), an electric utility service provider, was also 1.2% higher. Consumer goods company Henkel (HEN.DE) was 0.9% higher. And, on Paris' CAC-40, construction company Saint-Gobain (SGO.PA) was 2.5% higher, hypermarket operator Carrefour (CA.PA) was up by 1.3% and Orange (ORA.PA), a telecommunications company, was 1.1% higher.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was 0.04%, London's FTSE 100 Index was down by 0.23%, Frankfurt's DAX was 0.05% higher, Paris' CAC-40 was up by 0.01% at the time of writing.

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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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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