European markets close higher on earnings, US jobs

Big 5
European markets closed higher on Friday as investors monitored earnings reports and reacted to a new U.S. jobs report.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.95 percent with all sectors in positive territory. The benchmark was 1.3 percent up from last week.

Looking at the individual indexes, the CAC 40 was 1.7 percent up on the week, the DAX up by 1.14 percent and the FTSE 100 moved 2.1 percent higher – its best week so far in 2017.

Food and beverages outperformed its peers, up by 1.6 percent. Earlier in the session, basic resources had registered the biggest gains.

Insurance stocks struggled on weaker-than-anticipated earnings news but erased losses by the end of the session. The world’s second-largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, reported first-half net profit had slipped 35 percent after claims from natural disasters, falling prices and a resulting cutback in its business. Shares were more than 3 percent lower on the news.

U.K. housebuilders sank on Friday after media reports that the government is putting an end to the Help to Buy Scheme earlier than expected. Shares of Persimmon, Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey were lower by more than three percent.

Looking at individual stocks, RBS reported a large earnings beat on Friday morning with the U.K. lender highlighting that it had swung back to a first-half profit for the first time in three years. The bank also announced it planned to make Amsterdam its EU base after Brexit. Shares were 1.9 percent higher.

Shares of Adidas were among the best performers on Friday after some losses on Thursday on earnings news. Both RBC and Barclays raised their target prices for the stock.

Hargreaves Lansdown said Friday it would not be paying a special dividend this financial year as the financial services firm claimed it would not have a sufficient regulatory capital stimulus. The company, which is to report earnings mid-August, said it would pay a final dividend for the year ending June 30 in line with its policy. Shares tumbled almost 3 percent.

The Austrian engineering group Andritz fell 6 percent after reporting earnings below consensus.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., data showed that 209,000 new jobs were created in July, beating analysts expectations. The Dow Jones moved higher on the news and hit a new record high after having surpassed the 22,000 benchmark earlier this week.

Source: CNBC