European stocks were mixed in cautious trade on Friday as weak economic data as well as surging coronavirus cases in countries like Spain, France and Italy rekindled anxiety about the outlook for world growth.
A survey showed that German consumer confidence is set to weaken in September following three months of improvement as income expectations deteriorated.
Market researcher GfK said its forward-looking consumer confidence index for September dropped to -1.8 from -0.2 in August, which was revised from -0.3. Economists had expected a positive reading of 1.2.
French household consumption rose 0.5 percent in July from the previous month, slowing from a surge of 10.3 percent in June, the INSEE stats agency said in a second release.
French GDP sank 13.8 percent in the second quarter after already contracting 5.9 percent in the previous three months, the INSEE said, confirming an initial reading.
New data revealed British business confidence improved for the third consecutive month, but remained far below the long-term historical average.
Overall business confidence was up eight percentage points to -14 percent, according to the Lloyds Bank Business Barometer.
On the positive side, Eurozone’s economic sentiment indicator rose to 87.7 in August from 82.4 in July, confirming the gradual rebound from May.
The pan European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.2 percent to 370.03 after declining 0.6 percent in the previous session. The German DAX dropped 0.2 percent, while France’s CAC 40 index was little changed in lackluster trade. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent, giving up early gains.
Technology and healthcare stocks paced the declines while banks were moving higher, tracking a rise in Treasury yields after the U.S. Federal Reserve unveiled its new policy framework.
Norwegian Air plunged 6 percent after the budget carrier warned it needed another rescue package to meet its financial obligations next year.
Greggs lost 2.2 percent after the company confirmed an outbreak of coronavirus at its bakery distribution centre in Leeds.
Shares of Tandem Group declined 1.3 percent, giving up early gains. The developer and retailer of sports, leisure and mobility equipment said it expects higher first-half results benefited by strong demand for bicycles and outdoor products.
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