Arab Today, arab today european stocks mixed heading into weekend
Last Updated : GMT 21:34:07
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Arab Today, arab today

European stocks mixed heading into weekend

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today European stocks mixed heading into weekend

London - AFP

European equities traded mixed on Friday as dealers paused after the previous day's sharp sell-off that was sparked by sluggish first-quarter eurozone growth. Investors also tracked the latest news From crisis-hit Ukraine ahead of the weekend, and eyed overnight losses on Wall Street. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was flat at 6,840.61 points in afternoon trading. Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.37 percent compared with its closing values on Thursday to 9,620.10 points and in Paris the CAC 40 added 0.13 percent to 4,450.91 points. The euro slid to $1.3697 from $1.3711 late in New York on Thursday. Asian markets were mixed on Friday following a sharp sell-off on Wall Street and the worse-than-expected eurozone data, but star performer Mumbai hit a record high as pro-business candidate Narendra Modi headed for a landslide general election victory in India. - Ukraine pressures stocks - "European stock markets were steady Friday as yesterday's dire GDP reinforced the argument that the European Central Bank will have to take aggressive action to stimulate economic growth in the region," said analyst Ishaq Siddiqi at trading firm ETX Capital. "That said, upside momentum is being pressured by the latest development in Ukraine. "Traders are unnerved by reports that Ukrainian troops moved to force Russian separatists from their eastern towns Slavyansk and Kramatorsk." In Asia, a recent pick-up in equities took a knock after the eurozone growth data fuelled concerns about the strength of the region's recovery. Tokyo fell 1.41 percent also on the back of a stronger yen, and Sydney dipped 0.58 percent, but Seoul rose 0.16 percent. Both Hong Kong and Shanghai ended flat. India's benchmark stock index soared over six percent to a record high Friday after right-wing opposition leader Narendra Modi scored a landslide election victory, and then pulled back on profit-taking. The Bombay Stock Exchange index, known as the Sensex, climbed 6.15 percent to 25,375.63 points as results showed Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on track for a parliamentary majority after the marathon staggered poll. But the Sensex then gave up a big chunk of its gains to close up just 0.90 percent at 24,121.74 points. - Eurozone 'facing deep challenges' - Both the Paris and Frankfurt indices lost about one percent on Thursday after data showed economic growth across the 18-nation eurozone had expanded by an anaemic 0.2 percent in January-March, half the 0.4 percent that had been forecast. Data agency Eurostat also confirmed on Thursday that eurozone inflation rose to 0.7 percent in April, up from the 0.5 percent reported in March but still well off the European Central Bank's 2.0-percent target. "Low inflation in April and weak GDP growth in the eurozone ... highlighted once again the deep challenges faced by the single currency area," said CurrenciesDirect dealer Davide Ugolini. He added: "With price levels clearly stuck near deflationary levels the ECB is now likely to act in June and currency markets are beginning to price in this easing." The euro slid on Friday to 81.45 pence from 81.65 pence on Thursday, while the British pound rose to $1.6817 from $1.6790. The price of gold declined to $1,293.75 per ounce on the London Bullion Market from $1,299. Wall Street stocks opened lower Friday following a mixed report on US housing starts as investors continued to demonstrate caution towards equities. Five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.07 percent to 16,434.61 points. The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.13 percent to 1,868.49, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.12 percent to 4,064.42. US shares sank on Thursday as analysts warned of a growing flight to bonds from riskier assets.

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