LONDON (The Deal) -- Continental European markets were mixed in early trading Friday, despite rises in Asia overnight, in part on worries about the violent crackdown on anti-government protesters in Ukraine.
In France, auto parts maker Valeo jumped more than 11% on news of stronger than expected 2013 results and the company's announcement that it plans to continue to beat growth in the wider automotive sector in 2014. The price of property group Tour Eiffel also edged up to 49.5 euros, on expectations that buildings insurance group SMABTP will have to improve its 48 euros a share, 300 million euros ($410 million) offer.
London was firmer. Aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce got a boost from its announcement of a $187 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to expand its maintenance and management support of the C-130J transport fleet.
Another riser was Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), still 81% owned by the British government, on news that bank chief Ross McEwan plans a drastic shrinking of the group's remaining investment banking activities and further cuts to costs and jobs. The formal announcement's not expected till next week, but the bank has signaled its intention to cut legacy costs from the period of rapid growth of its investment bank and ambitious global expansion that ultimately turned it into one of the biggest casualties of the financial crisis.
London's FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 6847, while in Paris, the CAC40 was up 0.1% at 4,360. Frankfurt's DAX index was down 0.09% at 9610.Many Asian markets closed up following Thursday's strong U.S. manufacturing figures, which pushed up the dollar against the yen and boosted hopes of improved exports. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index was up 2.88% at 14,865.67. But China's Shanghai Composite fell 1.17% to 2113.69, reportedly on profit taking an energy giants Sinopec and PetroChina.