European Markets Finish Mixed Ahead Of Long Holiday Weekend

The European markets endured a choppy day of trade Friday, fluctuating between small gains and losses throughout the session. The markets ended with mixed results after snapping a 6-session winning streak on Thursday. Investors seemed reluctant to make any major moves ahead of Monday’s holiday.

Investors were confronted with a high volume of corporate earnings results and economic reports at the end of the trading week. Eurozone inflation accelerated more-than-expected in April, returning within the European Central Bank’s target of ‘below, but close to 2 percent.’ The U.K. economy also expanded at the slowest pace in a year at the start of 2017.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 0.09 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks decreased 0.10 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.22 percent.

The DAX of Germany dropped 0.05 percent and the CAC 40 of France fell 0.08 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.46 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 0.36 percent.

In Frankfurt, Bayer rose 0.53 percent as the pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant confirmed its outlook for 2017, citing significant sales and earnings growth achieved by Covestro in the first quarter.

Linde climbed 2.36 percent. The industrial gases company warned once again that its revenue growth could decline in the year ahead due to challenging market conditions.

Deutsche Post DHL Group advanced 1.93 percent after the mail and logistics group confirmed its ambitious targets for fiscal 2017 and beyond.

In Paris, Renault surged 3.69 percent after the carmaker reported a 25 percent rise in first-quarter revenue.

Sanofi rose 0.74 percent. The drug-maker confirmed its earnings outlook for the year after reporting significantly higher profit in its first quarter.

In London, Old Mutual fell 0.77 percent after the insurer said it had agreed to sell its 26 percent stake in Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Limited to its joint venture partner Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group climbed 4.74 percent after the bank reported its first quarterly profit since 2015.

Barclays sank 5.22 percent after posting a surprise drop in trading revenue.

UBS AG advanced 2.10 percent in Zurich after a turnaround in its wealth management business helped the Swiss bank to post a 79 percent jump in Q1 net profit.

Electrolux jumped 0.73 percent in Stockholm. The household-appliance maker reported a bigger than expected rise in first-quarter earnings amid an improving trend across all of its business.

Eurozone inflation accelerated more than expected in April, flash data from Eurostat showed Friday. Inflation rose to 1.9 percent in April from 1.5 percent in March. Economists had forecast the annual rate to rise to 1.8 percent.

Germany’s retail sales recovered in March, provisional data of the Federal Statistical Office showed Friday. Retail sales grew 2.3 percent year-on-year in March, offsetting…

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