European markets end mostly lower

Friday, 22. April 2016 18:15

Stock markets in Europe traded decidedly lower on Friday, with some serious losses in automotive and basic materials sectors, with earnings being main catalyst on the last trading day of the week. A rise in oil prices helped some gains in the energy sector, but business activity in the Eurozone and manufacturing data from Germany revealed slow economic recovery.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index closed 0.68% lower at 10,364 points. Daimler AG shares plunged 5.12% as the Stuttgart-based automaker announced it would investigate its emission testing routines on the request from the United States Department of Justice; the company also reported first quarter net profit fall of 32% at €1.4 billion, from €2.05 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Volkswagen AG lost 1.26% after earnings report that melted its profits on the Dieselgate emissions scandal, and resulted in loss of €1.58 billion. BMW shares fell 1.63%, and Continental AG dropped 1.04%. Merck added 4.29% on stock upgrade, and ThyssenKrupp rose 2.05%.

In France, the CAC 40 ended down 0.29% at 4,569 points. Kering luxury apparel company lost 5.22% after reporting modest first quarter profits along with bleaker outlook for its Gucci brand; their competitors at LVMH also dropped 1.61%. Safran fell 2.95% after Zodiac Aerospace declined its offer for takeover, and Zodiac went stellar, up 11.11%. Klépierre slid 4.16%.

Across the Channel, the FTSE 100 index finished 1.11% lower at 6,310 points. Land Securities fell 2.99% and Associated British Foods followed down 2.97%. Glencore fell 2.97% and Rio Tinto dropped 2.71%, showing weakness in the basic material sector.

In Zurich, the Swiss Market Index rolled down 0.62% to close at 8,109 points. Actelion fell 2.78%, Richemont dropped 2.06% and Swisscom was 1.68% weaker. UBS added 0.81%, while Givaudan inched up 0.16%, and ABB and Julius Baer shared third position adding 0.15%

The Austrian ATX index held up 1.07% with gains in most of the sectors, and the Belgian BEL 20 gained 0.24% mostly on financials. Notable gains were seen in Athens, where Athex rose 1.20% and in Portugal, where PSI-20 climbed up 0.27%.

Oil prices were rising strongly: Brent was up 2.06% at $45.47 a barrel, and WTI rose 2.06% to $44.09 a barrel by 6:07 p.m. CET.

Gold fell 0.35% to $1,243.71 a per fine ounce by 6:12 p.m. CET, and the euro fell 0.48% against the U.S. dollar. The European currency dipped 0.94% versus the U.K. pound after an official mentioned possibility of negative rates from the Bank of England.

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