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European markets edge higher amid earnings and data; GKN down 6%

November 17
11:06 2017

European equities were higher on Thursday morning as investors monitored earnings and key data releases.

The pan-European Stoxx 600

(STOXX: .STOXX)

was 0.7 percent higher with most sectors trading in positive territory. Construction and materials were the top performing sector in late morning deals on earnings. The French firm Bouygues

(Euronext Paris: EN-FR)

rose 4.8 percent after reporting higher sales and profits in the first nine months of the year.

Financial services were also among the best performers. This after 3i Group

(London Stock Exchange: III-GB)

reported a lower return in the first half of its fiscal year but an increased net asset value per share. The stock rose by around 2 percent. Also, Close Brothers Group

(London Stock Exchange: CBG-GB)

said that it remains well positioned in the current fiscal year as it continued to see strong profitability. Its shares went up 7 percent hitting the top of the Stoxx 600.

Looking across the European benchmark, Royal Mail

(London Stock Exchange: RMG-GB)

was up by about 1 percent after raising its dividend. At the other end, Sodexo

(Euronext Paris: SW-FR)

was down by about 3 percent though it reported higher net profit and revenue for the fiscal year ending in August, but slightly below consensus. GKN

(London Stock Exchange: GKN-GB)

hit the bottom of the benchmark, down 6 percent, after it announced a new write-off and new leadership. Kevin Cummings is leaving the firm with immediate effect, Reuters reported.

In other corporate news, the U.S. fund Cerberus has taken a 3 percent stake in the German lender Deutsche Bank, becoming one of its largest shareholders. The bank was up 2 percent.In terms of data, retail sales numbers in the U.K. came in higher-than-expected, showing an increase of 0.3 percent month-on-month in October. The news sent the sterling higher. The currency was 1.1 percent up against the dollar, trading at 1.3188 at about 11:40 London time.A second reading of euro zone inflation showed the headline annual inflation rate at 1.4 percent in October. Excluding energy and food, inflation stood at 1.1 percent in October.

European equities were higher on Thursday morning as investors monitored earnings and key data releases.

The pan-European Stoxx 600

(STOXX: .STOXX)

was 0.7 percent higher with most sectors trading in positive territory. Construction and materials were the top performing sector in late morning deals on earnings. The French firm Bouygues

(Euronext Paris: EN-FR)

rose 4.8 percent after reporting higher sales and profits in the first nine months of the year.

Financial services were also among the best performers. This after 3i Group

(London Stock Exchange: III-GB)

reported a lower return in the first half of its fiscal year but an increased net asset value per share. The stock rose by around 2 percent. Also, Close Brothers Group

(London Stock Exchange: CBG-GB)

said that it remains well positioned in the current fiscal year as it continued to see strong profitability. Its shares went up 7 percent hitting the top of the Stoxx 600.

Looking across the European benchmark, Royal Mail

(London Stock Exchange: RMG-GB)

was up by about 1 percent after raising its dividend. At the other end, Sodexo

(Euronext Paris: SW-FR)

was down by about 3 percent though it reported higher net profit and revenue for the fiscal year ending in August, but slightly below consensus. GKN

(London Stock Exchange: GKN-GB)

hit the bottom of the benchmark, down 6 percent, after it announced a new write-off and new leadership. Kevin Cummings is leaving the firm with immediate effect, Reuters reported.

In other corporate news, the U.S. fund Cerberus has taken a 3 percent stake in the German lender Deutsche Bank, becoming one of its largest shareholders. The bank was up 2 percent.

In terms of data, retail sales numbers in the U.K. came in higher-than-expected, showing an increase of 0.3 percent month-on-month in October. The news sent the sterling higher. The currency was 1.1 percent up against the dollar, trading at 1.3188 at about 11:40 London time.

A second reading of euro zone inflation showed the headline annual inflation rate at 1.4 percent in October. Excluding energy and food, inflation stood at 1.1 percent in October.

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