European Markets Mixed Ahead of U.S. Job Report as Allianz Gains

LONDON (The Deal) -- A mixed picture from European markets on Friday as investors await U.S. jobs report. London was in positive territory, Paris was slipping and Frankfurt was see-sawing.

Disappointingly U.K. trade deficit figures announced for September didn't stop the FTSE 100 from rising on the strength of the resources sector while Germany's market was pulled up by some good company results despite relatively feeble improvements in its trade and industrial output for September.

Watch the video below for a closer look at how European markets are doing in midday trading Friday:


At 11.10 GMT, the FTSE was up 0.52% at 6,585, while in Paris the CAC 40 was down 0.49% at 4,207. In Frankfurt, the DAX was down 0.17% at 9,361 -- but only after a mid-morning bounce which took it over 9,400 points.

Big risers in Frankfurt this morning were insurer Allianz SE (ALV), which was up 4.9% at 132.85%, after reporting double digit revenue growth and operating profits up 5.2% in the third quarter, and sportswear heavyweights Adidas and Puma. Adidas was still enjoying the glow of yesterday's good results, while rival Puma came out with its own positive third quarter results this morning.

Motor insurance continues to be a bugbear in the U.K., however. Admiral Group (ADM) fell 1.35% to 1,242 pence after third quarter revenues were down 5% to £419 million. The whole industry has been forced to accept lower premiums as drivers seek out the best deals in a very competitive market.

And some companies just can't please their investors. British homebuilders Bovis Homes Group (BVS) and Galliford Try (GFRD) were down 3.79% and 1.07% respectively. They both said growth was not as great as the third quarter last year, but still pretty good. Bovis said its margins were better and Galliford pointed to a big land-bank as a source of future growth. A third competitor Berkeley Group Holdings (BKG) was also down nearly 2%, despite announcing a joint venture with electricity infrastructure provider national gas which will build homes on brownfield sites released for the purpose in London.

Meanwhile in Belgium, pharmaceutical company UCB SA fell 2.87% to €63.67, after announcing the sale of its U.S. generics business Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc. to private equity firms Advent International Corp. and Avista Capital Partners LP. for $1.525 billion.

-- Written by Jonathan Braude for The Deal in London.

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