European stock benchmarks were mixed on Friday, after new data releases showed divergence in the French and the German economies, U.K. GDP growth exceeded forecasts, and the U.S. said its economy grew at a 2.9% annual clip in the third quarter. Corporate earnings reports were also mixed.
The CAC 40 rose 0.33% to 4,548.58. In Frankfurt the DAX fell 0.19% at 10,696.16 and in London the FTSE 100 edged up 0.14% to 6996.26.
The French economy expanded by 0.2% in the third quarter, up from a 0.1% contraction in the previous three months but below the 0.3% growth expected, statistics agency Insee said. Meanwhile inflation held at 0.5% in October, preliminary data showed, disappointing those looking for a 0.6% reading.
Preliminary German inflation data for October showed prices rose a greater-than-expected 0.7%, on an EU-harmonized basis,after 0.5% annual price growth in September. That was above the 0.6% forecast. Month-on-month, prices rose 0.2%.
In the U.K., GDP expanded by 0.5% in the third quarter, the Office for National Statistics said. That was down from 0.7% growth in the second quarter but above consensus expectations for expansion of 0.3%. The year-on-year gain was 2.3%, above the 2.1% expected.
GfK's U.K. consumer confidence index showed the weaker pound and worries about a "hard" Brexit could be beginning to bite, as the barometer of sentiment fell to minus 3 from minus 1. But that's still well above the minus 9 level the index fell to immediately after the Brexit vote.
The pound recently slid 0.13% to $1.2148. The currency was volatile throughout the day.
Corporate earnings announcements also presented mixed trends.
In the pharmaceuticals sector Novo Nordisk (NVO) - Get Report plunged nearly 15% in Copenhagen after the company cut earnings and sales forecasts for this year and next because of price competition in the U.S.
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain (CODYY) jumped nearly 9%, making it the top gainer among the CAC 40 constituents. The French construction material producer reported sales growth of 2.1% in the third quarter, backed by volume growth in Western Europe and the U.S.
U.K. lender RBS (RBS) - Get Report rose 0.3% after beating profit expectations and swinging into the black at operating earnings level in the third quarter. Rival bankUBS (UBS) - Get Report advanced 2.4% in Zurich after it beat forecasts by most measures in the third quarter. The lender missed on net profit, and gave another gloomy assessment of the outlook.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) - Get Report fell 4.3% in Brussels after the maker of Budweiser missed quarterly expectations and downgraded its sale outlook for its own business this year, not including recently acquired SABMiller.
STMicroelectronics (STM) - Get Report rose for a second day, by 5.6%, in Paris after the Geneva-based chipmaker called for greater-than-expected sales growth for the fourth quarter when it announced third quarter results on Thursday. Analysts including those at Credit Suisse and Liberum Capital raised their target prices for the company on Friday.
Nokia (NOK) - Get Report was the worst CAC 40 performer, dropping for a second day, by 4%. The Finnish telecom equipment maker on Thursday said third quarter sales fell at its mobile networks business and warned of sales weakness in the fourth quarter.
Oil producer Eni (E) - Get Report fell 1.8% after the Italian company posted a worse-than-expected third-quarter adjusted net loss. Larger rival Total (TOT) - Get Report fell 0.1% after the Paris-based group reported a 8% sales decline and a 21% operating profit drop for the third quarter.
Oil edged lower, with Brent crude recently down 0.9% at $50.00 and WTI Crude down 0.9% to $49.26 a barrel.