Skip to main content

LONDON (The Deal) -- European stocks were mixed on Thursday as mining shares stoked modest gains in London but eurozone indices stuttered.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.17% at 6,158.80. Miners led by Anglo American (AAUKF)  and Glencore (GLNCY)  rose as copper and iron ore prices increased. In Frankfurt, the DAX slipped 0.13% to 9,764.38, and in Paris the CAC 40 dropped 0.30% to 4,411.62.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.08%.

Eurozone composite purchasing managers' data for February, and the corresponding index for the services sector, as compiled by Markit Economics Ltd., came in better than the data provider's initial estimates, though pointed to the weakest growth in 13 months. Meanwhile, January eurozone retail sales figures prepared by the European Union's statistics arm beat forecasts.

In London, Irish building materials maker CRH (CRH) - Get CRH Plc Sponsored ADR Report  was up almost 4% after beating its own profit guidance in the full year. Jefferies International analysts also noted that full-year debt of €6.6 billion ($7.7 billion) was well below expectations.

Whitbread Group (WTBCY)  shares slipped sharply in early trading and were down 2.6% by mid-morning after reporting disappointing quarterly sales, including 0.5% same-store sales growth at its Costa coffee bar chain. The company also operates pub-restaurants and hotels, including the Premier Inn business.

Insurer Admiral Group (AMIGY)  rose about 6% as it announced record pretax profit of £377 million ($530.6 million) and a 29.8 pence special dividend including the first tranche of surplus capital it plans to hand out, along with a 33.6 pence normal dividend. Outgoing CEO Henry Engelhardt said 2015 had ended up being a strong year, defying initial expectations that it would turn out to be a "lump of coal."

TheStreet Recommends

Temporary power equipment maker Aggreko (ARGKF)  was up almost 7% as the company announced restructuring measures as it noted that pretax profit before one-time items would fall slightly in the current year.

Satellite company Inmarsat (IMASY)  plummeted more than 6% after reporting flat 2015 revenue of $1.274 billion and a $59.1 million decline in pretax profit to $282 million. It said the "underlying trading environment" in 2016 will be broadly similar to 2015, with revenue likely to come in at between $1.225 billion and $1.3 billion. But by 2016 it predicted revenue of $1.6 billion.

Fund manager Schroders (SHNWF)  was up about 2.6% after reporting an 8% increase in pretax profit to £609.7 million and a rise in assets under management to £313.5 million as of year-end, up from £300 million. The company also said insider Peter Harrison will replace Michael Dobson as CEO in April.

In Frankfurt, chemicals maker Evonik Industries plunged almost 13% after saying "weak global economic momentum" in the first part of the year will mean revenue in 2016 will drop slightly, while adjusted Ebida will fall to between €2.0 billion and €2.2 billion from €2.47 billion in 2015. Evonik also said it had acquired Norwegian food ingredients company MedPalett for an undisclosed price.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 0.31% to 19,941.76. On mainland China stocks were mixed, though the CSI composite index closed up 0.23% at 3,058.42.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.28% to 16,960.16 and the Topix climbed 1.44% to 1,369.05.

Shares in luggage maker Samsonite International (SMSEY) were suspended in Hong Kong. The Wall Street Journal reported that it is near a deal to pay about $2 billion for New York-listed Tumi Holdings (TUMI)

In Tokyo, Toshiba closed up 7.1% on reports that it's close to securing bank loans to fund its restructuring program. The Nikkei news outlet said it's shooting for loans of up to ¥250 billion ($2.2 billion).