European stocks ended Friday’s session slightly lower, finishing the penultimate month of the year in the red, as investors focused on trade developments and the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Losses for automobile companies reflected some of that unease.
What are markets doing?
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.17% closed 0.2% lower at 357.49 on Friday, putting a finishing touch on a 1.1% drop for the month of November. On the week, however, the index gained 1%, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Germany’s DAX DAX, -0.36% dipped to close down 0.4% at 11,257.24, and France’s CAC 40 PX1, -0.05% finished the session 0.1% lower at 5,003.92. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, -0.83% ended down 0.8% at 6,980.24.
The euro EURUSD, -0.7373% fell to $1.1316 from $1.1394 late Thursday in New York, while the British pound GBPUSD, -0.3597% slipped to $1.2746 from $1.2788.
What is driving the market?
European stocks were plagued with anxiety over the future of global trade relations on Friday, the last trading day of November, which manifested in, among other areas, weakness among auto stocks. Investors were looking toward Buenos Aires, host city of this weekend’s G-20 summit, at which President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are slated to meet over dinner on Saturday.
Market participants also focused on weak factory activity and construction data from China, which weighed on the mining sector, notably in London. The sector is vulnerable to signs of a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy, a big buyer of natural resources. Copper miner Angofagasta PLC ANTO, -4.30% slid 4% in London.
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Which stocks were active?
Among car makers, BMW AG BMW, -0.88% closed 0.9% lower, and Renault SA RNO, -1.07% slipped 1.1%, while Volkswagen AG VOW, +0.14% managed to reverse its losses and close 0.1% higher.
Heavyweight banking stocks were also in the red, with HSBC Holdings PLC HSBC, -0.63% HSBA, -0.73% and Banco Santander SA SAN, -1.45% SAN, -0.68% both closing 0.7% lower.
Pharmaceutical stocks were among the biggest gainers, with GlaxoSmithKline PLC GSK, +1.50% adding 1.5% by session’s end and Novo Nordisk AS NOVOB, +2.31% climbing 2.3%. Sanofi SA SAN, +1.19% finished Friday up 1.2%.
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