Europe close: Markets lower amid Trump unpredictability

Josh White Sharecast | 17 Feb, 2017 16:52 - Updated: 16:52 | | |

  • 12,256.43
  • 0.44%53.43
  • Max: 12,258.37
  • Min: 12,200.34
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
20:48 30/03/17
  • 5,089.64
  • 0.41%20.60
  • Max: 5,090.92
  • Min: 5,063.07
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:45 30/03/17
  • 380.46
  • 0.51%1.93
  • Max: 380.48
  • Min: 378.42
  • Volume: n/a
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:52 30/03/17

European stocks were in the red on Friday, struggling for direction after US markets came off their highs in the previous session.

The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.09% to 369.76, Germany’s DAX fell 0.15% to 11,739.24 and France’s CAC 40 was 0.82% weaker to 4,859.04.

Meanwhile, oil prices retreated, with Brent crude last down 0.4% to $55.43 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate 0.58% lower at $53.05.

Following US president Donald Trump’s irregular press conference on Thursday, the country’s vice-president is due to attend the Munich Security Conference amid uncertainty about the continent’s relationship with the Trump administration.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said: “A rather un-presidential Washington press conference and continued cabinet nomination problems have added to political uncertainty on both sides of the Atlantic.

“This, coupled with weakness in the commodity space, is weighing on sentiment, taking the wind out of a Trump trade's sails before a long weekend - ironically after yesterday's little outburst - for president's day.”

On the data front, the eurozone current account surplus fell to €31bn in December from a revised €36.4bn a month earlier.

Over 2016 as a whole, the current account surplus rose to an all-time high of 3.4% of GDP, from 3.1% in 2015.

Eurozone construction output slipped 0.2% on the month in December compared to a 0.4% jump in November.

Building construction declined 0.5%, while civil engineering rose by 0.8%.

Meanwhile, year-on-year construction output was up 3.2%, with civil engineering rising by 6.5% and building construction by 2.5%.

In the EU-28 group of nations, construction output was up 0.6% on the month and 1.6% on the year.

In corporate news, AstraZeneca edged 2% higher after the pharmaceuticals giant reported positive results from its Phase III OLYMPIAD trial of its breast cancer treatment Lynparza (olaparib).

Segro gained 3.28% after its full-year earnings per share and net asset value came in ahead of analysts’ expectations.

Allianz was up 2.81% after the German insurer said on Thursday that it would hike its dividend and launch a €3bn share buyback programme.

Dutch oil and chemical storage firm Royal Vopak fell 7.13% after it said that earnings for 2017 will not exceed the results seen in 2016.

More news

19:01 Bonds: Gilts continue advance as investors focus on start of Brexit talks

These were the movements in some of the most widely-followed 10-year sovereign bond yields:

18:43 Europe close: Basic Resources, Oil&Gas lead gains

European equity markets added to their first quarter tally, with shares in Basic Resources and Oil&Gas spearheading the advance even as the single European currency came under selling pressure on the back of weaker-than-expected readings on inflation in Germany and Spain and hawkish Fedspeak.

17:15 London close: FTSE's progress dampened by ex-dividends, sterling's rise and Brexit worries

Stocks in London passed through a relatively quiet Thursday, with numerous ex-dividend equities, a stronger sterling and Brexit worries combining to dampen progress heading into the end of the first quarter.

17:11 Sector movers: Industrial engineers, miners jump at quarter-end

Cyclicals were clearly in favour heading into the end of the first quarter, on the back of positive analyst chatter out of some of the top brokers in the world and as prices for most key industrial metals reversed their losses seen in overnight trading.

16:58 FTSE 250 movers: Petra provides the shine; RPC melts

Petra Diamonds shone brightly on the FTSE 250 on Thursday with shares in the company up 9% as it announced a $600m notes issue and refinancing package.

16:39 Friday preview: UK GDP story should remain unchanged

UK national growth figures for the fourth quarter of last year will be the main economic data event on Friday, along with details on the current account and the index of services and house price data from Nationwide.

15:52 Small cap news round-up

Insurance premium finance-focussed finance group Orchard Funding Group announced its unaudited results for the six months to 31 January on Thursday, with the board reporting it lent £31.1m for the period.

15:47 Bank of England could use palm oil in new £20 note

The Bank of England is pondering using palm oil in the production of the new £20 note following criticism from vegans and religious groups after the revamped £5 note was found to contain traces of animal fat.

14:45 Results round-up: International Public Partnerships, Polypipe Group

International Public Partnerships posted its full-year results for the 12 months to 31 December on Thursday, reporting net asset value growth of 24.3% to £1.6bn.

15:44 Broker tips: Morrison, Kingfisher, Ashtead, Admiral

Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded Morrison to ‘buy’ from ‘underperform’ and lifted the price target to 275p from 220p.