European stocks were moving lower on Friday, as reports of U.S. tax hikes offset data showing that the euro zone economic recovery accelerated in April despite coronavirus restrictions.
The pan European Stoxx 600 dipped 0.3 percent to 438.21 after rising 0.7 percent on Thursday. The German DAX fell 0.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 index slid 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was down 0.3 percent.
Tod’s SpA surged more than 10 percent after LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE increased its stake in the Italian shoe maker to 10 percent.
Shares of Telia Co. AB declined 1.7 percent. The telecom company reported a decline in first-quarter net income attributable to owners of the parent to 965 million Swedish kronor from last year’s 1.11 billion kronor.
Exporters were moving lower in London, with British American Tobacco and Diageo falling about 1 percent amid sterling’s strength.
Total SE gave up 0.6 percent, BP Plc fell over 1 percent and Royal Dutch Shell was down 0.7 percent despite oil prices increasing in the world markets.
Senior Plc shares fell 2.2 percent after the company said trading for the three months ended March 2021 has been in line with expectations.
FirstGroup shares surged 8.6 percent after the bus operator confirmed it is selling its U.S. school bus business to infrastructure investor EQT in a £3.3bn ($4.6bn) deal.
Remy Cointreau shares were down 0.6 percent. The spirits maker said that sales were slightly up in its full fiscal year, adjusted for currency effects.
EDF shares were down 2.3 percent. France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire was quoted as saying by the Ouest-France newspaper in an interview that he was ditching the “Project Hercules” name of a planned restructuring of the power group.
Daimler gained about 1 percent. The luxury car maker increased the margin targets for its Mercedes-Benz and Mobility divisions for the year after reporting strong earnings growth in the first quarter.
Enterprise solutions company Software AG tumbled 4.5 percent after its first-quarter 2021 results proved to be a mixed bag.
In economic releases, the flash reading of the IHS Markit eurozone composite purchasing managers index rose to a nine-month high of 53.7 in April from 53.2 in March.
The preliminary “flash” reading of the U.K. Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 60.0 in April, the highest reading since November 2013, from 56.4 in March.
A deluge of new orders swept through British businesses in the month as the country lifted some of its Covid-19 restrictions, the survey said.
Meanwhile, U.K. retail sales grew more than expected in March as the easing of the restrictions related to the coronavirus lifted consumer spending, a government report showed.
Retail sales volume grew 5.4 percent month-on-month, faster than the 2.2 percent increase in February. This was the biggest growth since June 2020 and also better than the economists’ forecast of 1.5 percent.
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