LONDON (TheDeal) -- European markets were mixed on Friday as positive earnings reports battled to gain the upper hand against worries about Chinese growth and slightly disappointing eurozone data.
Meanwhile, Greece and its international creditors were due to to resume talks Friday in Athens after parliament yesterday passed a slate of reforms demanded by Greece's eurozone peers The next deadline, of a long series, is Aug. 20, when a €3.2 billion ($3.5 billion) payment falls due to the European Central Bank. However, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' own Syriza party remains bitterly divided.
Asian indices were roiled by early July purchasing managers' data from Markit Economics.
The Chinese general manufacturing PMI, which Markit compiles with Caixin, unexpectedly fell to a 15-month low of 48.2 from 49.4, defying expectations for a small increase and moving further into the sub-50 contraction territory. But in Japan, the PMI rose to 51.4, with Markit reporting that conditions improved at the fastest pace since February.
Markit's purchasing managers' indices for the eurozone fell slightly below expectations, but the composite index, at 53.7, compared with 54.2 in June, remained close to a four-year high.
In London, the FTSE 100 edged up 0.14% to 6,664.37. In Frankfurt, the DAX slipped 0.10% to 11,500.97, and in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.32% to 5,102.93.
Gala Coral will inject its Coral Retail, Eurobet Retail and online businesses into Ladbrokes. Gala Coral will receive a 48.25% stake in the enlarged Ladbrokes, which will change its name to Ladbrokes Coral.
The companies said the combined business will have net revenue of £2.1 billion ($3.3 billion), £392 million of Ebitda and a pro-forma market value of about £2.3 billion.
Smirnoff maker Diageo (DEO), the world's largest spirits maker, also fell after The Wall Street Journal said the company is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations it inflated sales figures by manipulating inventories. Diageo said it is cooperating with the inquiry.
The news is a gift to putative suitors, including Jorge Paulo Lemann, the Brazilian financier who engineered the merger to create Anheuser Busch InBev (BUD). Neither side has confirmed his reported interest in Diageo.
Platinum producer Lonmin (LNMIY) tumbled more than 9% after it said it's reviewing its capital structure and how to respond to pressure on platinum prices, which it said have fallen 14.4% since its first-half results in May. Measures it's already decided upon include the "orderly closure" of two mine shafts and plans to mothball other shafts.
It said it's started a consultation with its workforce about cost cuts. Lonmin promised an update on its capital structure plans in November.
Irn Bru maker A.G. Barr fell more than 1% after reporting "subdued" first-half trading and said that first-half revenue probably fell about 5%.
In Paris, defense group Thales (THLEY) surged about 9% after reporting a 19% increase in first-half orders, driven by emerging markets, and a 18% jump in operating profit.
Air France-KLM (AFLYY) rose more than 2.5% after it announced it would cut its most unprofitable routes and reduce winter capacity as part of an onslaught on costs as its second-quarter loss widened.
In Frankfurt, BASF (BASFY) fell about 3% in Frankfurt after lower-than-forecast second-quarter earnings. It reported an 8% decline in second-quarter sales of basic chemicals with overall revenue growth of 3% to €19.1 billion and a 2% rise in earnings to €2 billion. It confirmed its outlook for full-year results.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 1.14% at 25,108.91. The Shanghai Composite dropped 1.29% to 4,070.91. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed down 0.67% to 20,544.53, and the Topix fell 0.54% to 1,655.86.