VIENNA (dpa-AFX) - The European markets ended Friday's session with modest losses. Investors took the opportunity to lock in some profits after the strong rally on Thursday. The release of some weak regional data also had an impact, as French GDP and Eurozone private sector data disappointed investors.
Some of the best performing stocks in Europe yesterday were miners and energy stocks. Commodity prices rallied Thursday after the Federal Reserve decision to maintain interest rates caused a weakening of the U.S. dollar. The rally in commodity prices has fizzled out at the end of the trading week.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 0.72 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks decreased 0.64 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.76 percent.
The DAX of Germany dropped 0.44 percent and the CAC 40 of France fell 0.47 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.03 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 0.42 percent.
In Frankfurt, RWE dropped 0.63 percent after the utility set the price range for an initial public offering of its Innogy SE green energy unit at 32 to 36 euros a share.
E.ON also fell 1.14 percent on news that it is paying a total of £3.1m after it missed appointments and then failed to compensate customers.
Deutsche Bank decreased 2.10 percent and Commerzbank lost 0.43 percent. In Paris, Societe Generale declined 1.53 percent and BNP Paribas fell 0.73 percent. Credit Agricole also finished lower by 0.85 percent.
Total dropped 1.21 percent, but Technip rose 0.06 percent.
In London, Polymetal International sank 7.46 percent after two private equity investors announced they would sell an aggregate of up to 26m existing ordinary shares in the miner.
Indivior plunged 3.95 percent after thirty-five U.S. states and the District of Columbia filed a civil complaint against the British drug firm alleging violations of state and federal antitrust and consumer protection laws.
Sports Direct surged 5.37 percent. The retailer appointed its founder and majority shareholder Mike Ashley as chief executive after current boss Dave Forsey resigned.
Royal Bank of Scotland weakened by 2.09 percent and Standard Chartered surrendered 1.92 percent. Lloyds Banking Group also forfeited 2.01 percent.
Novartis slid 0.13 percent in Zurich despite its cancer drug Zykadia showing positive trial results in a Phase III clinical study.
Eurozone private sector grew at the slowest pace in 20 months in September as services activity expanded the least since the end of 2014, while manufacturing gained strength.
The flash composite output index slid to 52.6 in September from 52.9 in August, data from Markit showed Friday. Economists had expected the index to fall marginally to 52.8.
Germany's private sector logged the weakest expansion in activity in almost one-and-a-half years, flash survey data from Markit showed Friday. The composite output index fell to a 16-month low of 52.7 in September from 53.3 in August. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Germany's new orders in the main construction industry declined in July, Destatis reported Friday. Construction orders dropped 4.6 percent from June. At the same time, orders advanced 14.1 percent on a yearly basis.
The French economy contracted in the second quarter on weak household spending and investment, according to the detailed report published by the statistical office Insee. Gross domestic product declined 0.1 percent from the first quarter, when it advanced 0.7 percent, Insee reported Friday. The preliminary estimate showed a nil growth for the second quarter.
The French private sector expanded at the fastest pace in 15 months in September, flash survey data from Markit showed Friday. The composite output index rose to 53.3 in September from 51.9 in August. The latest reading was the joint highest since August 2011.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX