European stocks were little changed on Friday following twin blasts in Kabul airport and amid uncertainty over U.S. monetary policy.
Traders also await Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s symposium speech later today for clues on how the U.S. central bank might pare bond purchases.
After the ISIS claimed responsibility for the blasts that killed at least 13 U.S. service members and 60 Afghans, U.S. President Joe Biden vowed to hunt down the terrorists and make them pay for the deadly attacks.
Asian stocks ended mixed amid the Afghanistan issues and uncertainty over U.S. Federal Reserve policy.
On the economic front, a survey showed that French consumer confidence eased marginally in August.
Further, data from Sweden’s National Institute of Economic Research showed that the country’s economic confidence weakened in August. The economic tendency indicator rose to 121.1 in August from 121.9 in July.
Finland’s consumer confidence weakened and industrial morale improved in August, as per separate survey results. Statistics Finland said the consumer sentiment index decreased to 4.0 in August from 4.4 in July.
The pan European Stoxx 600 was slightly higher at 470.48 after declining 0.3 percent in the previous session. The U.K.’s benchmark FTSE 100 was down 3 points at 7,122 after declining 0.4 percent the previous day. The benchmark CAC 40 was down 7 points at 6,659 after closing 0.2 percent lower in the previous session. The benchmark DAX was down 2 points at 15,792 after declining 0.4 percent on Thursday.
In France, lender BNP Paribas fell 0.9 percent, Credit Agricole was down 0.7 percent and Societe Generale fell 1 percent.
Automaker Renault was down 0.4 percent, while auto parts maker Faurecia jumped 2.2 percent after Citigroup hiked its target price on the stock.
STMicroelectronics gained 1 percent, while Bouygues was down 1 percent.
In Germany, Vonovia SE shares rose 0.8 percent. The residential real estate company said it has placed corporate bonds totaling 5 billion euros with an average coupon of 0.49 percent. Based on high investor demand, the company said it was able to secure very attractive conditions.
Deutsche Bank was down 0.6 percent, while automakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen were trading subdued.
In the U.K., miners BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Glencore were trading higher as metal prices increased.
BP Plc were up 0.5 percent, and Royal Dutch Shell rose 0.3 percent as oil prices climbed more than 1 percent on worries about supply disruptions.
Subprime lender Amigo jumped 5.6 percent after it posted a steep rise in first-quarter pretax profit.
Food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway traded down after the New York City Council approved legislation to permanently cap commissions delivery apps can charge restaurants.
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