European stocks were broadly lower going into the close Friday as risk stocks sold-off and banks weighed on benchmarks across the continent in the wake of second-quarter numbers delivered by JPMorgan (JPM) during the session.
Results from America's largest bank were better than expected but saw its closely watched trading income fall for the period, while the bank also highlighted ongoing pressures that could hit its net-interest income during the quarters ahead.
There was a read-across into Europe from these numbers with all of the continent's largest banks taking a hit, which was more severe for those with big investment banking businesses.
On a more positive note, commodity producers gained at the tail end of a raucous day for iron ore, nickel, zinc and crude oil futures prices, with all rising during the session.
The FTSE 100 dropped 0.34% in London to be quoted at 7,388, while its mid-market sibling FTSE 250 index saw a lesser 0.07% fall. The DAX in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 in Paris were down 0.22% and 0.06%, respectively, going into the close.
Over in Southern Europe, markets were more mixed, with the IBEX posting a small gain in Madrid while the FTSE MIB slipped in Milan.
In individual stocks, Royal Mail (ROYMF) shares fell close to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after the company appeared to cave into union pressure over its plan to close a long running staff pension scheme and replace it with a cheaper plan.
It will now offer staff a choice between an equivalent of the more expensive scheme it intends to close and a defined contribution scheme, which ties retirement payments to contributions as opposed to final salary.
On a more positive note, the mining sector was in rude health in London, with the diversified soil-scrapers Anglo American (NGLOY) and BHP (BHP) staying close to the top of the index, with returns of 3% each, alongside gold miner Fresnillo (FNLPF) and Randgold (GOLD) whose shares were both up nearly 2% each.
In Paris, Credit Agricole (CRARY) , Societe Generale (SCGLY) and BNP Paribas (BNPQY) were the top fallers on the CAC 40 index. This was while UniCredit (UNCFF) , UBI Banca (BPPUF) and MedioBanca (MDIBF) all sank to the bottom of the board on the FTSE MIB in Milan.
With Deutsche Bank (DB) and Commerzbank (CRZBY) aside, BMW (BMWYY) was the top faller on the DAX over in Frankfurt. The automaker saw its stock fall after industry data showed new registrations of its cars falling during June while competitors ate away at its market share.
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