EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Driven Higher By Auto Shares, Greek Bailout Deal

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Nestlé seeking to sell U.S. unit

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European stocks pushed higher Friday, with auto stocks and food producer Nestlé SA among the advancers, but the market was still facing a loss on a weekly basis.

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6% to 388.30. All sectors were up, led by the industrial, consumer goods and tech groups.

"Markets are welcoming positivity on the Greek debt front, offsetting that more hawkish Fed stance from mid-week," said analysts at Accendo Markets in a note.

Greek stocks were higher, with the Athex Index up 1.3% after the country's creditors agreed to release the next tranche of its EUR86-billion ($96.5-billion) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/greece-reaches-deal-to-unlock-next-bailout-tranche-2017-06-16) bailout but put off a final decision on relieving Greece's crushing debt burden until August of next year.

In the consumer goods sector, shares of Nestlé SA (NESN.EB) were up 1.7% after the company put its U.S. confectionery business up for sale (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nestle-exploring-sale-of-us-confectionery-unit-2017-06-16) as it grapples with how to cater to U.S. consumers' increasing demand for healthy snacks.

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For the week, the Stoxx 600 was still on course to fall by 0.5%. A loss would stem in part from a selloff in the tech sector during the week, which kicked off in U.S. tech shares including Apple Inc. (AAPL) . The Nasdaq Composite was looking at a 0.7% weekly decline.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Technology Index on Friday was up 0.7%, with chip maker Ams AG (AMS.EB) higher by 1.3% and Nokia (NOK) moving up 1%.

Auto stocks: Germany's DAX 30 was up 0.5% at 12,750.52, aided by gains among shares of auto makers after new car sales in the European Union rose 7.6% in May (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/eu-new-car-sales-rebound-with-76-rise-in-may-2017-06-16). The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said sales rose the most in Germany and Spain, but fell in the U.K., the EU's second-biggest car market.

In Frankfurt, BMW AG (BMW.XE) tacked on 0.7% and Daimler AG (DAI.XE) picked up 0.5%. In Paris trade, shares of Renault SA (RNO.FR) claimed a 1.5% rise and Peugeot SA (UG.FR) bulked up 1.1%.

France's CAC 40 jumped 1% to 5,271.73. In focus Sunday will be the final round of voting in the country's parliamentary elections, and the upstart party led by newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to win a large amount of seats.

In London, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.4% at 7,445.48.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 16, 2017 05:10 ET (09:10 GMT)