LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stock indices were mixed heading into the weekend after a closely watched gauge of German business sentiment fell short of expectations, feeding hopes that the eurozone will receive a monetary fillip.
The Ifo institute's index of German business confidence in May declined from April to its lowest point so far this year.
The Munich organization surveys 7,000 company executives, asking them about their assessment of the current situation and their outlook.
The data weighed on the euro and fed growing expectations the European Central Bank will ease monetary policy next month, something ECB President Mario Draghi has said he's willing to do.
Meanwhile, confirmation of healthy German GDP figures highlighted the complexity of forging a "one-size fits all" policy for the whole of the eurozone. The German economy grew at a 2.5% annual pace in the first quarter and was up 0.8% quarter on quarter.
The DAX in Frankfurt climbed 0.24% to 9,744.64 and in Paris the CAC 40 was up 0.10% at 4,482.51. In London, the FTSE 100 fell 0.24% to 6,803.87.
In London, AstraZeneca (AZN) fell despite reports BlackRock, its largest shareholder, has urged the U.K.'s second-largest drugmaker to reopen talks with Pfizer (PFE) after a mandatory three-month cooling off period. AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer's thrice-sweetened 69.4 billion pounds ($117 billion) bid on Monday and the New York company has until 5 p.m. on Monday, May 26 -- a public holiday in Britain -- to either make a firm bid or retreat. It has already said it won't go hostile and that its latest 5,500 pence-per-share bid is its final one.