European stocks end mildly lower as sterling stabilises after Brexit drama

European stocks traded lower on Friday, as investors continued to closely monitor the ongoing political turmoil in the U.K.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed below around 0.12 percent during Friday deals. On the week the European list of blue chips shed 2.68 percent.

Europe’s banking index suffered more losses Friday, down around 0.74 percent as U.K. lenders struggled amid heightened fears the country could soon crash out of the European Union without a Brexit divorce deal. Metro Bank, Lloyds, and RBS all shed value.

Autos were another sector to dip. Volkswagen lost 2.5 percent after announced a 44 billion euro bid to transform a large part of its business toward electric cars.

Meanwhile, media stocks were up more than half a percent amid earnings news. French media conglomerate Vivendi reported stronger-than-anticipated third quarter sales on Friday, supported by growth at its Universal Music Group arm. Shares of the Paris-listed stock rose more than 3 percent on the news.

Looking at individual stocks, Sweden’s NIBE Industrier rose to the top of the benchmark after it reported that pre-tax profit surged 20 percent in the first nine-months of the year. Shares of the company jumped more than 5 percent during early afternoon deals.

Elsewhere, Astrazeneca said Friday that the combination of two immunotherapy drugs did not meet the main goal in a closely watched late-stage study for a certain type of lung cancer, Reuters reported. Shares of the company fell 1.79 percent.

Brexit

The British pound suffered its biggest one-day loss against the euro since October 2016 on Thursday, as a flurry of resignations rocked the government of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

However, the U.K. currency has since stabilized, at one point trading at 1.2866 against the U.S. dollar Friday afternoon.

When U.S. stocks opened, The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 125 points, led by losses in Home Depot. The S&P 500 pulled back 0.6 percent as tech and consumer discretionary lagged. The Nasdaq Composite underperformed, dropping 1.1 percent.

Source: CNBC

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