LONDON (The Deal) -- European stock markets predominantly moved higher on Friday, with the London benchmark holding its own against eurozone peers as mining shares enjoyed another day of strong gains.
By late morning in London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.65% at 6,171.15, with Chilean miner Antofagasta (ANFGY) , Swiss-based Glencore (GLNCY) and Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get Report sitting on top of the board. Gold, copper, silver and platinum prices were all up, with copper at $222.75 per lb at a four-month high.
In Frankfurt, the DAX rose 0.77% to 9,826.71 and in Paris the CAC 40 rose 0.67% to 4,444.72. But in Milan the FTSE MIB was down 0.51% at 18,257.49 as official fourth-quarter GDP data pointed to worryingly lackluster Italian growth.
S&P 500 futures were little changed at 1,990.75.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls figures for February out in the U.S. Friday are expected to include the addition of 190,000 jobs, up from 151,000 in January and an unchanged unemployment rate of 4.9%. The data comes out at 8.30 a.m. EST.
London Stock Exchange Group (LNSTY) edged 0.7% lower to to 2,872 pence after it reported full-year results in line with forecasts including a 78% increase in revenue to just under £2.29 billion ($3.23 billion)and a 72% increase in adjusted operating profit to £709.6 million. Credit Suisse Group analysts said they have a standalone valuation of 2,900 pence for the company and see its planned merger with Deutsche Boerse -- which Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) - Get Report said it may challenge -- adding another 440 pence to that price tag.
Advertising company WPP Group (WPPGY) also slipped as CEO Martin Sorrell warned that industry optimism was misplaced and "Don Draperish" given risks to the global economy, including the U.K.'s potential exit from the European Union. WPP's 2015 results out Friday were slightly better than expectations, however, and its 2016 guidance for about 3% revenue growth and a 30 basis-point expansion of margins matched forecasts.
But Genel Energy continued a four-day rebound to gain well over 4%. On Thursday it announced near-quadrupling of its full-year pretax loss to $1.2 billion and on Monday the stock slumped almost 41% after it notified investors of a $1 billion write-down on an oil field in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Barclays (BCS) - Get Report rose 2.7%, shrugging off a downgrade by Deustche Bank analysts to hold from buy. The analysts said Barclays' Tuesday strategic update, including the planned selldown of its 62.3% stake in Barclays Africa Group Ltd., will weigh on earnings before capital benefits come through.
Shares in Atlas Mara, the African financial services acquisition vehicle created by former Barclay CEO Bob Diamond, were down more than 3% after the Financial Times reported that it was trying to lure investors to help fund a bid for the 40%-odd stake in Barclays Africa that Barclays plans to sell within three years.
In Hong Kong, Samsonite (SMSEY) closed up 1.3% after trading resumed following its announcement that it will buy Tumi Holdings (TUMI) for $1.8 billion to increase its exposure to the high-end luggage market.
China's CSI 300 composite index closed up 1.16% at 3,093.89 ahead of the start of China's annual parliamentary session, the National People's Congress, this weekend.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed up 1.18% at 20,176.70. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed up 0.32% at 17,014.78 and the Topix closed up 0.46% at 1,375.35.