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European stocks recover from recent drop, open higher; DAX up 0.26%

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Investing.com - European stocks opened higher on Friday, as global equities continued to recover from recent losses sparked by U.S. political turmoil, although investors were expected to remain cautious ahead of the weekend.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.34%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.46%, while Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.26%.

Market sentiment had weakened following reports this week that U.S. President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to end the agency's investigation into ties between former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed on Wednesday by the Justice Department as a special counsel to take over the probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) gained 0.48% and 0.58%, while Germany's Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) advanced 0.59%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) climbed 0.45% and 1.22% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) rose 0.78% and 0.80%.

Elsewhere, Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p) gained 0.65%, recovering from losses posted earlier in the week following reports German prosecutors are investigating whether the company's CEO Matthias Müller and other key board members adequately disclosed financial liabilities related to the emissions-cheating scandal.

Thyssenkrupp AG (DE:TKAG) added to gains, with shares up 0.81% despite news a Tata Steel deal to separate its $19 billion UK pension scheme raises questions regarding a potential merger with the German group's European steel operations.

In London, FTSE 100 advanced 0.41%, helped by Rolls Royce (LON:RR), whose shares rallied 1.71% following news the company will perform up to $4.7 million worth of work at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, in the U.S., for its aircraft engines business.

WPP (LON:WPP) was also on the upside, as shares climbed 1.47% amid reports the advertising giant's GroupM, known for helping marketers allocate advertising investments into media, has launched a new content investment and rights management company known as Motion Content Group.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) edged up 0.12% and Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) gained 0.34%, while Barclays (LON:BARC) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) advanced 0.45% and 0.53% respectively.

Mining stocks added to gains, with BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) gaining 0.54% and Glencore (LON:GLEN) climbing 0.89%, while Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) rallied 1.21%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady to higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.04% uptick, S&P 500 futures showed a 0.07% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.07% rise.

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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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