European stocks finished the week on a positive note Friday, though losses in the financial sector were keeping a lid on gains as Danske Bank AS tumbled on news of a U.S. probe.
What are markets doing?
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.35% closed 0.2% higher at 377.10, after Thursday’s loss of 0.2%.
For the week, the pan-European gauge was so far up 1%, but down 2.7% year to date.
Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +0.57% rose 0.6% to 12,124.33, while France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.46% rose 0.5% to 5,352.57. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.31% was up 0.3% to 7,304.04.
The euro EURUSD, -0.5047% traded at $1.1638, down from $1.1691 late Thursday, while the British pound GBPUSD, -0.2899% was changing hands at $1.3074, down from $1.3109.
What is driving the market?
Europe stocks took inspiration from a largely positive session across Asia, and an upbeat one in the U.S. on Thursday, even as U.S. stocks traded in negative territory Friday after the European close on the back of a Bloomberg report indicated that President Donald Trump wanted to proceed with new import tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
A fresh round of trade talks could take place later this month after the White House reportedly extended an invitation to Chinese officials, which had improved sentiment around trade. As well the Turkish central bank’s move to bolster its currency on Thursday also helped foster some appetite for risk.
In the U.K., Brexit was in the headlines again after Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney reportedly told Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet on Thursday that a no-deal exit from the European Union would cripple the country’s economy.
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What are strategists saying?
Earlier in the European session, Konstantinos Anthis, head of research at ADS Securities, said in a note to clients: “Encouraging news that Trump’s administration seeks to start negotiating with China again to resolve their trade differences is helping investors’ sentiment.”
Banks were in the spotlight, with Danske Bank AS DANSKE, -1.05% closed down 1.1% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. was probing money laundering allegations. Citigroup Inc. C, +0.60% and Deutsche Bank AG DBK, +0.58% DB, -0.04% were also identified by that whistleblower as being involved in the transactions, the report said.
Shares of Deutsche Bank fell 0.2%, while Citigroup was up 0.5% in U.S. trading.
Shares of Investec PLC INVP, +8.36% surged to finish the day 8.4% higher, and as the best performer in the Stoxx Europe 600 after the investment bank said it would spin off and separately list its asset-management unit.
Ryanair Holdings PLC RY4C, +1.23% closed 1.2% up. The airline said it was close to reaching a collective labor agreement with its Italian-based cabin crew.
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