European stocks split as EU seeks virus deal

09:13 | 18/07/2020
Europe's main stock markets moved in mixed directions on Friday as traders watched EU leaders hunker down to try to thrash out the terms of a huge post-coronavirus economic rescue plan.
european stocks split as eu seeks virus deal
European stocks split as EU seeks virus deal (photo: freepik.com)

Frankfurt's DAX 30 ended the day 0.4 percent higher while in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.3 percent.

Outside the eurozone, London' benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day 0.6 percent higher. Wall Street stocks finished a choppy session mostly higher, though streaming giant Netflix tumbled following disappointing results.

"It was been a quiet trading session as the much-awaited EU summit to discuss the rescue fund began today," said market analyst David Madden at CMC Markets UK.

The European Union was facing a "moment of truth", France's President Emmanuel Macron declared Friday.

EU leaders were holding their first face-to-face summit in five months, but the gathering seems unlikely to bridge their divide over a huge 750 billion euro ($847 billion) recovery fund.

A determined band of northern members, led by the Netherlands, are holding out against doling out cash to their southern neighbours without strict conditions attached.

European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday leaned on EU governments, which have in the past left much of the heavy lifting to the central bank, to do more to kickstart their economies suffering from the pandemic.

"Recent gains in European indices and in the euro, which is enjoying some real strength against the dollar for the first time in over two years, could easily evaporate if Monday arrives without progress of some kind," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG.

- US and Asia mixed -

Elsewhere Friday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq edged higher, while the Dow slipped amid weakness in banking and energy shares.

US home construction surged 17.3 percent in June, the Commerce Department said, as the sector continued to gain ground following the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

However a US consumer sentiment survey fell to a three-month low, which is likely due to the increasing number of states reimposing restrictions and the end of supplementary unemployment benefits rapidly approaching.

Asian stock markets closed mixed following sell-offs the previous session, as disappointing recent data undercut optimism over the economic recovery that has helped drive gains for the past few months.

Traders have for weeks been able to look past fresh spikes in coronavirus infections around the globe to focus on the trillions of dollars spent on government support and the easing of lockdowns.

But with containment measures being reintroduced in parts of the world that had appeared in control of the outbreak -- including Hong Kong, Japan and Australia -- confidence has taken a hit.

- Key figures around 2050 GMT -

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.2 percent at 26,671.95 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.3 percent at 3,224.73 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.3 percent at 10,503.19 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 6,290.30 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.4 percent at 12,919.61 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 5,069.42 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 3,365.60 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.3 percent at 22,696.42 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.5 percent at 25,089.17 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 3,214.13 (close)

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.4 percent at $40.59 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.5 percent at $43.14 per barrel

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1435 from $1.1384 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 106.93 yen from 107.27 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2568 from $1.2553

Euro/pound: UP at 90.97 pence from 90.69

AFP

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