European Equity Benchmarks Close Mixed; Banks Burden London, Paris Exchanges

European Equity Benchmarks Close Mixed; Banks Burden London, Paris Exchanges

The broad-based major European indices closed mixed in Friday’s trading session as falling bank stocks pushed the London and Paris exchanges lower, while the German market edged higher.

In economic news, the British Chambers of Commerce ( BCC ) said in its most recent survey of private-sector business that despite improvements in the manufacturing sector, the U.K. economy grew at “a muted rate” in Q3.

The BCC said in the manufacturing sector, the proportion of firms reporting improved domestic sales and orders both rose in Q3 to their highest level since Q1of 2015. Export sales and orders also improved, as stronger recent economic growth has helped support demand for U.K. products it said.

However, in the services sector, which is usually the main driver of U.K. economic growth, domestic sales and orders remained flat in Q3, “as did the sector’s employment expectations, investment in training, and confidence in profitability and turnover,” said the BCC. It also said that almost all services indicators remain below their pre-E.U. referendum levels.

The BCC survey also showed nearly 75% of manufacturers reported difficulties hiring staff.

Meanwhile in Germany, consumer prices were 1.8% higher in September compared with the year-ago month, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Compared with August, the consumer price index increased by 0.1% in September.

In September, the prices of energy products were up 2.7% year on year. The increase in energy prices was higher than the overall rise in prices, and had a strong upward effect on the inflation rate, reported Destatis. During the same month, prices were up year on year especially for mineral oil products and electricity. Only gas prices declined from the year-ago month, falling 2.5%. Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate would have been 1.7% in September.

In equities, automotive and aerospace components company GKN led the FTSE lower in London, faling 9.9%, followed by investment management firm Standard Life, and utilities company Centrica, which lost 3.8% and 2.5%. Banks burdened the market as well, as Standard Chartered, HSBC, and Barclays shed 1.6%, 1.1%, and 0.9% respectively.

In Frankfurt, personal products and cosmetics company Beiersdorf helped lead the DAX into positive territory, rising 1.3%, follwed by pharmaceutical company Bayer, and industrial gasses firm Linde, which climbed 1.2% and 1.1% respectively. Semiconductor company Infineon Technologies and industrial group ThyssenKrupp were up 0.5% and 0.4%, while technology company Siemens, and automaker Volkswagen each closed 0.3% higher.

In Paris, banks weighed down the CAC as Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, and BNP Paribas fell 2.2%, 1.1%, and 0.8% respectively. Steel and mining company ArcelorMittal led all decliners, falling 2.9%, while airplane manufacturer Airbus, financial protection company Axa, and media compnay Vivendi dropped 1.2%, 1.1%, and 0.9%.

The FTSE fell 0.28%, the DAX gained 0.07%, and the CAC lost 0.17%.

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