Arab Today, arab today european stocks mixed despite upbeat europe us data
Last Updated : GMT 14:02:48
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European stocks mixed despite upbeat Europe, US data

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Arab Today, arab today European stocks mixed despite upbeat Europe, US data

London - AFP

Europe's share markets diverged on Friday, with London lifted by strong earnings while other leading European indices shrugged off upbeat US and eurozone data to move lower. In early afternoon deals, London's FTSE 100 index of top companies added 0.28 percent to stand at 6,827.98 points compared with Thursday's close, supported by rebounding profits at state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland. Frankfurt's DAX 30 slipped 0.06 percent to 9,597.30 points and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.42 percent to 4,468.29 compared with Wednesday's closing levels. The subduded performance in Europe came after most exchanges across the continent on Thursday and despite a swathe of upbeat economic news, but as tension in Ukraine rose sharply. The latest signals from the eurozone pointed to a further easing of residual stresses from the debt crisis. "The crisis is over," said Holger Schmieding at Berenberg. "The systemic threats and contagion risks that were the hallmark of the euro crisis have gone." Spain's interest rate for borrowing 10-year funds fell below 3.0 percent for the first time since 2005, in a further sign that the eurozone debt crisis is fading. Meanwhile Portugal's government said it has passed its final bailout audit by IMF-EU experts in a major step towards becoming the second eurozone rescue success story after Ireland. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho on Thursday gave his clearest indication yet that the country will exit its 78-billion-euro bailout without a credit lifeline next month. Unemployment in the eurozone eased down to 11.8 percent in March, official data showed, with small signs of improvement in Greece's high jobless rate. Across the Atlantic, Wall Street stocks were equally sluggish following a report that showed the US economy added far more jobs in April than expected. The Labor Department said the US economy added 288,000 jobs in April, well above the 210,000 expected by analysts. The report also showed solid upward revisions to the March and February estimates. "This fall reverses the recent trend of gaining labour participation as the labour market improves, and we would not be surprised to see some reversal of today’s labour force drop in coming months," said Rob Carnell at ING. Five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat at 16,559.32. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.04 percent to 1,884.52, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.22 percent to 4,136.34. - RBS leads London higher - London's top gainer was Royal Bank of Scotland, which revealed that net profits tripled to £1.2 billion in the first quarter, buoyed by lower costs and falling impairments. In reaction, RBS saw its share price spike 9.56 percent to 335.90 pence. Pre-tax profits doubled to £1.64 billion from £826 million a year earlier, but the troubled bank warned that it still faced "plenty" of issues to deal with. RBS, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, remains 81-percent state-owned after it was rescued during the 2008 global financial crisis. Investor focus was also on the pharmaceuticals sector after British drugs giant AstraZeneca rejected a sweetened $106-billion takeover bid from US rival Pfizer. The rejection came hours after Pfizer had lifted its informal cash and shares bid to the equivalent of 76 billion euros, as it seeks to strengthen its research in cancer and slash its tax bill. AstraZeneca shares rose in London afternoon deals, gaining 0.50 percent to £48.39. Asia's markets had traded mixed as dealers returned from the May Day break to healthy manufacturing data from the as well as an upbeat assessment of the US economy. Tokyo stocks slid 0.19 percent and Seoul slipped 0.12 percent, while Sydney added 0.17 percent and Hong Kong rose 0.57 percent. Shanghai was shut for a public holiday. In foreign exchange trading, the euro fell to $1.3819 from $1.3867 late in New York on Thursday. The European single currency eased to 82.04 British pence from 82.10 pence, while the pound declined to $1.6847 from $1.6890 on Thursday. The price of gold rose to $1,285 an ounce on the London Bullion Market, from $1,278.50 on Thursday.

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