The pan-European Stoxx 600 was marginally higher with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.
Basic resources stocks were among the best performers following positive earnings reports in the sector. The appetite for such stocks seemed to have escaped President Donald Trump‘s launch of an investigation into Chinese steel, raising the possibility of new tariffs.
Banking stocks also moved higher during Friday afternoon. Trump also ordered the Treasury to find and reduce tax burdens and review post-financial crisis reforms into banks and insurance companies.
Looking at individual stocks, Software AG reached the top of the European benchmark in afternoon deals, up by around 9 percent. This followed the company’s latest earnings report which showed an acceleration in its digital business.
Danone was at the opposite end of the index after reporting weak sales figures in the first three months of the year. The food and beverages sector moved almost 3 percent lower on the news.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average and broader S&P 500 index opened little changed as investors eyed a closely contested four-way race in the French presidential election.