European equity benchmarks were mainly in the red on the penultimate trading day of the week although a jump in oil prices provided a fillip to London's FTSE 100 Index, which consists of a large number of mining stocks.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, the main US oil benchmark, for delivery in August were 0.5% higher at $44.95 per barrel in recent trade, while Brent crude futures, the international gauge, were up by 0.4% at $47.73 per barrel. The price movements come the morning after government data showed an unexpected increase in US inventories of the hydrocarbon commodity.
In economic news, a closely-watched gauge of economic sentiment increased markedly in both the euro area in June, boding well for economic growth prospects across the region, which has been struggling to return to pre-financial crisis growth rates amid high levels of unemployment in some countries. The European Commission's Economic Sentiment Indicator increased by 1.9 points to 111.1 in the euro area in June.
In equities, commodities stocks were rallying on London's resource-dominated FTSE 100 Index, with Anglo American, Glencore, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta, up by 4.2%, 2.5%, 2.3% and 2.0%, respectively. HSBC was 4.1% higher.
On Frankfurt's DAX, RWE, a supplier of electricity and natural gas, was 2.2% lower, followed by Henkel vz, a chemical and consumer goods company, down by 1.4% and Beiersdorf, a skin care company, also 1.4% lower. E.ON, an energy company, was down by 1.3% and Continental,an automotive supplier,was 1.0% lower. And, on Paris' CAC-40, Vinci,a construction and engineering company, was down by 2.6%, Airbus, a manufacturer of aircraft parts, was 2.2% lower, Bouygues, which is engaged in telecommunications, media and construction, was down by 1.9% and Vivendi, which is involved in media and content, was 1.4% lower. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, a luxury goods company, was down by 1.5%.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was 0.08% lower, London's FTSE 100 Index was up by 0.44%, Frankfurt's DAX was down by 0.01% and Paris' CAC-40 was 0.43% lower at the time of writing.
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