RTTNews - The European markets fell for the second day on Friday, as Nokia tumbled after losing market share and British Airways reported an annual loss.
First quarter economic performance report of the British economy was the only major news from European economies. Official data confirmed the worst contraction in the U.K. since the early days of the Margaret Thatcher government in 1979.
The British economy shrank 1.9% in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter, un-revised from the previous estimate released on April 24, the Office for National Statistics reported. This was the largest decline since the third quarter of 1979.
The economy had contracted 1.6% in the fourth quarter and 0.7% in the third quarter of 2008. Thus, gross domestic product dipped for the third straight quarter, signaling a severe recession.
Crude for July delivery fell $0.06 to $60.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.18% lower at 856.00 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index fell 0.21% to 2,094.25 points.
Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index climbed 0.46% to 4,365.29, while France's CAC 40 index rose 0.33% to 3,227.97 and Germany's DAX index surged up 0.37% to 4,918.75. However, Switzerland's SSMI index dropped 1.82% to 5,409.26.
Nokia, the world's biggest maker of mobile phones, slipped 6% after market research firm Gartner Inc. said after the close of European trading on May 20 that Nokia's market share fell to 36.2% in the first quarter from 39.1% a year earlier.
Ericsson fell 2.4% after its mobile phone joint venture Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd.'s market share dropped to 5.4% from 7.5%. Neither Nokia or Ericsson traded yesterday due to national holidays.
British Airways, Europe's third largest airline, dropped 3.8% after the company reported a loss of £375 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009 and cancelled its dividend for the current year.
On the other hand, mining stocks edged higher after copper prices rose. BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, added 1.8%, while Anglo American, the second biggest, surged up 2.9% and Rio Tinto, the third biggest, climbed 4.2%. Copper miner Antofagasta gained 2.7%.
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