By Investors Hub
European stocks are mostly higher on Friday as U.S. bond yields eased, the latest run of earnings from major tech companies topped forecasts and the euro sank against the dollar on a dovish policy statement from the European Central Bank.
The pound also drifted lower against the dollar as weak GDP data helped reduce the chances of a rate hike at the Bank of England’s monetary policy meeting on May 10th.
The U.K. economy expanded at the slowest pace in more than five years in the first quarter, the Office for National Statistics reported. GDP grew only 0.1 percent in the first quarter, the weakest since the fourth quarter of 2012.
Separately, survey data from European Commission showed that Eurozone economic sentiment remained stable in April. The economic sentiment index held steady at 112.7 in April, while economists expected the index to drop to 112.0.
While the French CAC 40 Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.8 percent.
France’s Capgemini has rallied after its first quarter consolidated revenues grew 7.2 percent year-over-year on constant exchange rates.
French construction materials group Saint-Gobain has also jumped after affirming its 2018 earnings target.
Salzgitter shares have advanced in Frankfurt. The company increased its earnings forecast for the year after its first quarter pre-tax profit exceeded market expectations.
Meanwhile, Italian oil and gas company Eni has dropped after its first quarter earnings fell from last year despite higher hydrocarbon production.
Electrolux shares have also slumped. The Swedish home appliance manufacturer said its first quarter net profit fell 46 percent due to rising raw material costs and hefty restructuring charges in its North American appliances business.