European Stocks Mixed Ahead of U.S. GDP

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stock indices were mixed on Thursday ahead of news from the U.S. that is expected to show the economy contracted in the first quarter.

Some European stock markets were closed for Ascension Day, and much of the continent, including France and Germany, has a public holiday.

Revised U.S. GDP data and the weekly jobless numbers are due out at 8.30 a.m. EDT. Analysts expect the economy to have contracted by as much as 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter, partly because of the harsh winter, compared with the government's initial estimate for growth of 0.1%.

In London the FTSE 100 was up 0.22% at 6,866.09. In Frankfurt the DAX slipped 0.10% to 9,929.43 and in Paris the CAC 40 fell 0.21% to 4,521.90.

In London, medical devices maker Smith & Nephew made further gains after closing up 4.3% on Wednesday following a Financial Times report of bid interest from Stryker (SYK). The Kalamazoo, Mich., company issued a statement on Wednesday declaring it didn't intend to make a bid but the FT on Thursday cited Stryker's CEO confirming he had been evaluating making an offer. The announcement on Wednesday ties Stryker's hands for six months under most circumstances, under the U.K. Takeover Code, but Stryker was careful to reserve the right to use the limited leeway it has during that period to "announce or participate in an offer."

Hedge fund manager Man Group was up more than 4% after confirming it is in talks about buying Boston-based Numeric Holdings.

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