European bourses closed lower on Friday following news that several British banks have stopped trading Qatari riyals for retail customers as the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf grows.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was lower by 0.34 percent. Earlier in the session, markets were confident about rate hikes in the coming months and digested euro zone inflation data showing the slowdown was lesser-than-expected. Almost all sectors and major bourses were in positive territory.
Looking at the three biggest indexes in Europe, these dropped more than 2 percent on the month, with the CAC 40 losing 2.9 percent in June. In total, the Stoxx 600 was on average lower by 2.8 percent in June. Technology stocks were among the strongest performers in Europe on Friday, following a weak performance on Wall Street in the previous session. Germany’s online takeaway delivery firm, Delivery Hero, debuted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Friday and it appears to have been a success. Its shares moved 8 percent higher.
Chemicals led the losses on Friday, down over 1 percent, on earnings news. Bayer dropped to the bottom of the index after the German drugs and pesticides maker lowered its outlook for 2017. The company said it would have to adjust its earnings as a result of the negative revenue outlook stemming from its Brazilian crop science business.
Bayer also said it had filed a request for approval of its planned $66 billion takeover of U.S. seeds company Monsanto with EU regulators, according to a Reuters report. The firm’s shares were down around four percent on Friday.
British pub retailer Greene King slumped towards the bottom of the benchmark on Friday. Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan both cut its target price for the firm, with the latter also downgrading its stock rating to “neutral” from “overweight”. Its shares slid 2 percent on the news.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney had surprised many investors on Wednesday as he said the U.K.’s central bank could be required to lift interest rates as the economy came close to running at full capacity. Sterling edged lower on Friday at $1.2982, after a 0.6 percent gain in the previous session.
Malta’s six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union is set to end on Friday with Estonia poised to take over from July 1. The U.K. had been positioned to follow Malta, however, Prime Minister Theresa May announced in July 2016 – shortly after Britain’s vote to leave the EU – that the country would no longer do so.
In the U.S., markets started the last trading day of the month mostly higher as banks continued to build on this week’s strong gains.