Stoxx 600 on course for minor weekly gain
Stocks across Europe clung to thin gains Friday, with French media company Vivendi SA a standout as its shares rallied, but the market was on course for just a small weekly advance.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.1% at 394.91, with telecom and health care shares rising. But oil and gas, consumer goods and industrial stocks lagged behind.
Investors had a fresh round of corporate updates to consider on Friday, as well as economic data. Germany's quarterly gross domestic product revved up, but industrial production declined in the eurozone in March.
The Stoxx 600 on Thursday fell 0.6% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/italian-banks-a-bright-spot-as-european-stocks-fall-back-2017-05-11), pulling back from a 21-month high.
"A notably more cautious mood across global equity markets yesterday, with investors keen to book some of their recent profits," said Ian Williams, economist and strategist at Peel Hunt, in a note. "In the context of the recent strength, some retracement is hardly unexpected," he said.
The pan-European index was looking at a 0.1% rise for the week, which kicked off Monday with a small decline in European bourses after centrist and independent Emmanuel Macron won France's presidential election on Sunday. European equities had pushed higher ahead of the vote on signs Macron would defeat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, with French shares hitting a nine-year high.
France's CAC 40 has jumped nearly 11% this year, and the Stoxx Europe 600 has bulked up more than 9%.
Movers: The CAC 40 was up just 0.1% at 5,387.87 on Friday. But the best performance came from Vivendi (VIV.FR) as its shares popped up 5.3% after the company offered to buy a EUR2.36 billion stake in advertising group Havas SA (HAV.FR) from Vivendi's own chairman, Vincent Bolloré. Havas shares surged 9.8%.
But the CAC's rise was limited by a 4.9% fall in shares of constituent ArcelorMittal SA (MT) even as the steel maker's first-quarter net profit more than doubled to $1 billion.
Elsewhere, Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA (CFR.EB) slid 6% after the Swiss luxury-goods brand behind Cartier and Montblanc logged a 46% fall in 12-month profit.
Thyssenkrupp AG shares (TKA.XE) fell 2.4% after the German industrial conglomerate swung to a second-quarter net loss, pressured by the sale of its steel operations in Brazil.
AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.LN) (AZN.LN) climbed 4.8% as the company posted positive, late-stage study results for cancer treatment Imfinzi (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/astrazeneca-plans-imfinzi-submission-after-trial-2017-05-12). The shares were on track for their best session since July 2016.
Data: German economic activity accelerated in the first quarter, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/german-gdp-up-06-on-buoyant-trade-beating-us-2017-05-12) with GDP higher by 0.6%, or 2.4% in annualized terms.
Eurozone industrial production in March fell 0.1% from the previous month, according to Eurostat. The FactSet consensus estimate was for a rise of 0.3%.
Other indexes: Germany's DAX 30 index was up 0.1% at 12,719.94, and has hit record closing highs this week. In London, the FTSE 100 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-rises-as-astrazeneca-rallies-and-pound-stalls-2017-05-12) rose 0.2% to 7,399.14 as the pound stayed below $1.29 against the dollar.
Read:The ECB has 3 big reasons to wind up QE--here's why it shouldn't (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-ecb-should-avoid-the-temptation-to-cancel-qe-2017-05-10)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 12, 2017 05:28 ET (09:28 GMT)