Europe markets close mixed amid corporate earnings; Valeo down 11%

Equities in Europe closed slightly higher on Friday afternoon as investors reacted to earnings and waited for a report from the Federal Reserve.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.23 percent to the upside with major bourses and sectors moving in different directions.

Retail was the biggest loser Friday afternoon, with Zara-owner Inditex struggling at the bottom of the sector. It fell further in afternoon trade, closing 7 percent lower following reports Thursday that it is to run-down its Irish-based web unit.

The automotive sector was also in the red, dropping in afternoon trade to close 0.74 percent lower. Valeo closed over 11 percent down after reporting its 2017 full-year numbers, leaving it founder at the bottom of the European benchmark.

By contrast, telecoms rallied Friday afternoon, ending the day over 2 percent higher. BT pulled up the sector, rising over 5 percent following news that regulators will cap the price the telecoms firm can charge its rivals for using its fast broadband service.

Looking across the European benchmark, engineering firm Subsea 7 closed near the top, up 7.4 percent after announcing a joint venture with oilfield services company Schlumberger.

Meanwhile, RBS closed 4.9 percent lower despite posting its first full-year profit in a decade. The state-owned lender reported a loss in its fourth-quarter of 583 million pounds ($812.5 million).

Aberdeen Standard Life’s shares swung in afternoon trade, finishing the day roughly 2.5 percent lower. The insurer’s stock had been trading higher earlier in the day on the announcement of the sale of its insurance business for £3 billion ($4.18 billion) to Phoenix Group.

In the U.S., stocks rose Friday but were still set to post a weekly loss. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 157 points in mid-morning trade, while the S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent, with technology and utilities both performing best.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy report was out Friday morning, citing an economy past full employment — though it gave little guidance on future interest rate rises. Source: CNBC