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European Stocks Finish Mixed as Investors Digest Slew of Earnings Reports

By Investors Hub

European stocks are turning in a mixed performance on Thursday as investors digest a slew of earnings reports and looked ahead to the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG).

While the German DAX Index has fallen by 0.3 percent, the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.1 percent.

Warning of rising threats to the world financial system, the IMF said markets are exposed to a sharp tightening in financial conditions, which could lead to a sudden unwinding of risk premiums and a repricing of risky assets.

In economic news, the euro area current account surplus declined in February, the European Central Bank said. The current account surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted 35.1 billion euros in February from 39 billion euros in January.

The pound slipped for a third day after official data showed that U.K. retail sales including auto fuel dropped 1.2 percent month-on-month in March, in contrast to a 0.8 percent increase in February. Sales were forecast to fall 0.6 percent.

Swiss engineering firm ABB has jumped after its first quarter earnings topped forecasts. Nutrition, health and wellness giant Nestle has also risen after confirming its 2018 guidance.

Engineering firm Weir Group has surged higher after the company unveiled plans to acquire U.S. competitor Esco Corp. and reported first quarter revenues in line with expectations.

French advertising group Publicis has soared nearly 8 percent after its first quarter revenue growth topped forecasts.

Meanwhile, drug giant Novartis has dropped after reporting a sharp slump in sales by its U.S. generics unit.

Unilever has also moved lower on news its first quarter revenue fell over 5 percent due to adverse currency movements.

Department store group Debenhams has come under pressure after the company lowered its full-year profit expectations.

Germany’s MorphoSys has also declined after announcing the pricing of its American Depository shares.

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