European stocks pared earlier losses during noon trading Friday after a solid set of U.S. jobs numbers helped lift the mood among investors on the old continent.
Markets had struggled during early trading as investors sought to digest the latest volley of corporate earnings reports and economic data.
The FTSE 100 was 0.47% higher at 7,510 in London an hour off from the close while its mid-market sibling, the FTSE 250, was up 0.29%, to 19,965.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index added 1.55% to be quoted at 5,120 while the DAX rose 1.32%, to 12,316. Over in Southern Europe, the IBEX in Madrid and the FTSE MIB in Milan both gained notably during the session.
In individual stocks, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - Get Report was among the top gainers on London's FTSE 100 after the bailed-out lender returned to profit during the second half of the year and posted a 33% beat to the consensus estimates for pretax profits in the period. Regulatory capital generation was also 40 basis points better than expected, with the bank's CET1 ratio coming in at 14.8%.
- RBS Posts First Half Profit as Balance Sheet Strengthens, Trading Activity Accelerates
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Also in London, Merlin Entertainments (MIINF) the owner of Madame Tussauds and operator of theme parks, rose 5% after reporting an in-line set of half-year numbers. Investors had previously been concerned about the outlook for the entertainments firm given a spate of terror attacks in the U.K. during the first half and current uncertainty over the economy.
On the downside, house builder stocks tumbled on Friday, helping to hold back the FTSE 100 after a report that the government is contemplating ending subsidies for those seeking to buy a home. Barratt Developments (BTDPF) , one of the nation's largest housebuilders, saw its shares fall more than 5% during the Friday session.
In Frankfurt, Adidas (ADDYY) and Commerzbank (CRZBY) were the top gainers on the DAX index, with gains of nearly 3% each. Adidas stock continued to react to a solid set of quarterly results that were released Thursday, showing sales growing at a healthy clip thanks to increasing demand for the company's products in China and North America. Commerzbank gained after investors began to look past the larger than expected loss that it reported on Wednesday.
In Spain, Siemens Gamesa (GCTAF) saw its shares surge more than 5% after the renewable energy firm won a large offshore wind contract in Turkey.
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