European markets were mixed in Friday afternoon trading as Jackson Hole day is finally upon us. Investors are waiting to hear whether Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen will give clues into a possible interest rate rise this year later today.
In Europe, official data show the French economy was stagnant in the second quarter with quarter-on-quarter growth flat. This was down from 0.7% growth in the first quarter of the year.
Consumer confidence in the country however rose in August. A consumer confidence index put out by France's National Institute of Statistics and Studies had a reading of 97 in August up from 96 in July. Economists had expected the reading to remain steady at 96.
In Germany, consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in August to 10.2, according to the GFK consumer confidence index, economists had been expecting a reading of 9.9. GFK said the consumer sentiment had proven to be resistant "to the recent rise in general uncertainty caused by the Brexit decision and the noticeably increased fear of terror following the attacks in Bavaria."
In London, the FTSE 100 was recently up 0.05% at 6,820.10 The domestic-focused FTSE 250 was at 17,894.25, gaining 0.07% in afternoon trading.
Barclays (BCS) was recently up 0.82% after reports that it was close to closing deals to sell its Italian and Egyptian operations. The bank has made a series of non-core asset disposals recently.
Restaurant Group (RSTGY) gained more than 3% in afternoon trading after announcing it would close 33 restaurants across the U.K. due to a 3.9% decrease in same-store sales in the 27 weeks to July 3. The owner of Chiquito and Frankie & Benny's recorded a pretax loss of £22.5 million ($29.7 million) in the first half.
In Frankfurt, the Dax was down 0.12% at 10,516.40 and the Cac 40 had recently gained 0.06% to sit at 4,409.17.
Volkswagen (VLKAY) gained 2.16% in afternoon trading, making it the biggest gainer in Frankfurt. The German car maker yesterday announced it had come to an agreement with U.S. franchise dealers that were hurt by the emissions scandal. The company will compensate about 650 dealers hit by the scandal.
West Texas Intermediate was recently down 0.04% at $47.31 and Brent Crude was down 0.14% at $49.60 a barrel.
Yesterday, Iran's state news agency said that oil minister Bijan Zanganeh would attend a meeting of Opec ministers in Algeria in September.
Dow Jones Industrial Average mini futures were recently down 0.05% and S&P 500 mini futures were down 0.03%.