European stocks were modestly higher in cautious trade on Friday after hitting a three-week high the previous day amid optimism that U.S. stimulus talks are continuing.
A cautious undertone prevails after several European countries reported their highest level of daily new coronavirus infections.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has called an extraordinary cabinet meeting today to consider declaring a state of emergency for Madrid and its surrounding region.
The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.2 percent to 369.03 after closing 0.8 percent higher on Thursday.
The German DAX slid about 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up as much as 0.7 percent.
British Finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce later in the day a new plan to support jobs and businesses that are affected by coronavirus shutdowns.
Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk A/S surged nearly 4 percent after raising its 2020 sales and operating profit outlook.
Jewelry maker Pandora jumped as much as 13 percent after raising its guidance for the year.
Similarly, Zalando SE, Europe’s online platform for fashion and lifestyle, climbed 3.7 percent after raising its outlook for the 2020 financial year.
Henkel rose 1.4 percent. Based on preliminary figures and excluding the impact of currency effect and acquisitions/divestments, the household products giant has recorded third quarter organic sales growth of 3.9 percent.
Infineon Technologies advanced 1.5 percent after chip maker NXP Semiconductors lifted its outlook for the quarter just ended.
Speed-train maker Alstom advanced 1.7 percent. The company said it will supply 49 Citadis trams to Nantes Métropole for around 200 million euros.
Rising oil prices helped lift oil companies, with Total SA, BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell rising 1-3 percent.
Euronext tumbled 3.8 percent as London Stock Exchange accepted a 4.325 billion euro ($5.09 billion) cash offer from the pan-European bourse operator for the Milan stock exchange.
Mail and office owner British Land rallied 3.6 percent after saying it would soon resume the payment of dividends.
Cruise operator Carnival jumped 2.6 percent after it reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.
Stagecoach Group tumbled 3.4 percent. The bus and rail company said its outlook for the year ending 1 May 2021 is unchanged from when the Group announced full year results in July 2020.
In economic news, France’s industrial production slowed more than expected in August, led by manufacturing, preliminary data from the statistical office INSEE showed.
Total industrial output grew 1.3 percent from July, when it increased 3.8 percent. Economists were looking for a 1.7 percent gain.
The U.K. economy grew at a moderate pace in August as lockdown measures continued to ease, the Office for National Statistics said.
Gross domestic product climbed 2.1 percent sequentially, slower than the 6.4 percent expansion seen in July. This was the fourth consecutive monthly increase following a record fall of 19.5 percent in April.
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