RTTNews - The European markets fell for the first time in four days on Friday, as energy and mining stocks slipped after crude oil and copper prices dropped.
The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of U.S. consumer sentiment for June came in at 69.0 compared to a reading of 68.7 in May. Economists had been expecting a somewhat more notable increase to a reading of 69.5.
Industrial production in the euro area dropped 21.6% year-on-year in April after falling a revised 19.3% in March, the Eurostat said Friday. Economists had forecast a decline of 19.8%. On a monthly basis, production was down 1.9% following a fall of 1.4% in the previous month.
Crude for July delivery fell $0.78 to $71.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange by the time the European markets closed, as traders booked some profit from the recent gains.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.23% lower at 885.75 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 0.10% to 2,192.11 points.
Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.45% to 4,441.95, while France's CAC 40 index fell 0.26% to 3,326.14 and Germany's DAX index dropped 0.74% to 5,069.24.
Heavily weighted oil stocks slipped after crude oil prices dropped for the first time in four days. BP, Europe's biggest oil company, slid 1.8%, while Royal/Dutch Shell, the second biggest, fell 1.3% and Total, the third biggest, dipped 2.1%.
Similarly, mining stocks edged lower after copper prices retreated in London. BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, slipped 2.1%, while Anglo American, the second biggest, dropped 1.9% and Rio Tinto, the third biggest, fell 1.3%. Copper miner Antofagasta lost 4.3%.
India-focused copper miner Vedanta Resources sank 8.5% after the company announced the sale of $1 billion in convertible bonds.
On the other hand, drugmakers gained after the World Health Organization declared the first influenza pandemic in 41 years. GlaxoSmithKline, Europe's biggest drugmaker, climbed 5.4%, while Sanofi-Aventis, France's biggest drugmaker, rose 3% and AstraZeneca, Britain's second biggest drugmaker, surged up 4.5%. Swiss drugmaker Novarits gained 4.4%.
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