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Oct. 26, 2012, 12:23 p.m. EDT

Europe stocks inch higher after U.S. GDP data

Better-than-expected growth helps lifts Europe out of the red

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

MADRID (MarketWatch) — European stock markets ended slightly higher on Friday as resource stocks led a rebound from early weakness after U.S. growth data surprised on the upside.

A weaker tone for banks and a tumble for Ericsson LM, however, kept gains in check.

Click to Play

U.S. jobs data due next week

The all-important October monthly jobless rate is released next week, in addition to more earnings from big name U.S. corporations.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +1.68% went from a 0.3% loss to a gain of 0.1%, settling at 270.51.

For the week, the index fell 1.3%.

In Washington, the Commerce Department said third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product rose 2%, beating expectations for a gain of 1.7%. Read: U.S. economy grows 2% in third quarter

“Investors are grabbing for any good news, but it’s only a little bit better. It was nothing really that impressive,” said Peter Garnry, an equity strategist at Saxo Bank. “I think most interesting is that it seems like from the market reaction, it had been discounting some kind of miss.”

Garnry said even for resource companies, which perked up after the data, U.S. growth is only positive at the margin, “as it’s still China that drives growth in these companies.” Wall Street struggled, meanwhile, with major indexes down slightly as European markets closed. Read: U.S. stocks waver weighing quarterly numbers

On the global front, data out of Asia showed South Korea’s economy growing in the third quarter at the slowest pace in three years. Earlier in the week, the HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index eased some concerns about China growth.

But markets have also been dogged this week by a string of earnings disappointments from both sides of the Atlantic, with Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +2.05% the latest to join that crowd. Read: Apple faces tight supply in busy quarter

Click to Play

Telefónica CFO on company's debt

Telefónica CFO Angel Vila Roix talks about the company's plan to weather Spain's economic crisis, its German IPO, and possible plans for its Latin American assets.

In Europe, Ericsson /zigman2/quotes/208932705/composite ERIC +1.94% /zigman2/quotes/207544813/delayed SE:ERIC.B +2.35% delivered earnings gloom, and shares of the heavyweight sank nearly 4%, which kept gains for the Stoxx 600 in check. The mobile-equipment maker said third-quarter profit fell 43%, hit by thin margins on key contracts. Read: Ericsson profit tumbles as operators turn cautious.

Spanish stocks lagged behind gains for the rest of Europe. The IBEX 35 index /zigman2/quotes/210597995/delayed XX:IBEX +1.66% fell 0.1% to 7,775.60 after data released Friday showed the Spanish jobless rate hitting a record high at 25%. Markets also continue to play the waiting game over when Spain will ask for a bailout. See: Unemployment in Spain reaches 25%.

“Activity is still very subdued in the euro-zone area. Most bigger indicators are still not convincing in gauging whether we’ve reached a bottom. Investors are still grabbing any good news they can,” said Garnry.

The French CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +2.11% stood out among individual country indexes, up 0.7% to 3,435.09, as shares of oil major Total SA rose 0.7% and drug maker Sanofi SA /zigman2/quotes/206928357/delayed FR:SAN +1.87% /zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite SNY +0.58% added 2%.

Shares of Carrefour SA /zigman2/quotes/208564127/delayed FR:CA +0.11% rose 3.6%. Japanese retail group Aeon Co. is reportedly in talks to buy the French retailer’s Malaysian operations, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Read: Aeon may buy Carrefour's Malaysia operations

Shares of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain SA /zigman2/quotes/201813666/delayed FR:SGO +1.66% gained 1.9% after the French building-materials company said it expects a slightly higher sequential decline in second-half operating income. But outside of this, the group said it’s maintaining objectives. Read: Saint-Gobain sees sharper fall in operating income

But French banks stayed under pressure after Standard & Poor’s cut the credit rating on BNP Paribas SA /zigman2/quotes/206351084/delayed FR:BNP +3.05% , down 1.3%, and outlooks on 10 banks, which included Credit Agricole SA /zigman2/quotes/209264506/delayed FR:ACA +1.93% , off 1.9%, and Société Générale SA /zigman2/quotes/206663756/delayed FR:GLE +3.25% , down 1%. See: S&P downgrades BNP, puts SocGen, Agricole on watch.

Shares of Renault SA /zigman2/quotes/200919924/delayed FR:RNO +5.93% dropped 1.8% after the auto maker warned a day prior that it may not reach its full-year sales target as revenue slid 13%. Read: Renault quarterly revenue slides 13%

The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.33% ended marginally higher at 5,806.71. British American Tobacco PLC /zigman2/quotes/209116881/delayed UK:BATS -0.65% fell 0.7% and insurer Prudential PLC /zigman2/quotes/200530572/delayed UK:PRU +3.86% dropped 1.9%.

Anglo American PLC /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL +3.14% jumped more than 4% after news Cynthia Carroll will step down as chief executive after being at the helm since 2007. The miner didn’t name a replacement.

In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +2.22% rose 0.4% to 7,231.85 as industrial conglomerate Siemens AG /zigman2/quotes/200873563/delayed DE:SIE +1.12% /zigman2/quotes/214908078/composite SI +5.29% rose 0.9% and chemical group BASF SE /zigman2/quotes/204280060/delayed DE:BAS +2.63% added 0.8%.

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467.31
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kr 110.56
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XX : Spain: Madrid
8,620.20
+140.70 +1.66%
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Jan. 26, 2022 5:38p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
6,981.96
+144.00 +2.11%
Volume: 93,869
Jan. 26, 2022 6:05p
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/zigman2/quotes/206928357/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
91.94
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19.96
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3.48%
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/zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
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FR : France: Euronext Paris
17.50
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14.73
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2.74%
Market Cap
€13.40 billion
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FR : France: Euronext Paris
58.95
+0.96 +1.66%
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P/E Ratio
14.42
Dividend Yield
2.26%
Market Cap
€30.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
€253,623
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FR : France: Euronext Paris
63.95
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Jan. 26, 2022 5:35p
P/E Ratio
10.34
Dividend Yield
4.16%
Market Cap
€76.56 billion
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€524,808
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/zigman2/quotes/209264506/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
13.33
+0.25 +1.93%
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P/E Ratio
10.20
Dividend Yield
6.00%
Market Cap
€38.54 billion
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€677,640
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/zigman2/quotes/206663756/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
33.08
+1.04 +3.25%
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Jan. 26, 2022 5:36p
P/E Ratio
9.13
Dividend Yield
1.66%
Market Cap
€24.97 billion
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€279,097
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/zigman2/quotes/200919924/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
35.38
+1.98 +5.93%
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P/E Ratio
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Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
€9.67 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,469.78
+98.32 +1.33%
Volume: 708,293
Jan. 26, 2022 4:51p
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/zigman2/quotes/209116881/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
3,152.00 p
-20.50 -0.65%
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6.84%
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/zigman2/quotes/200530572/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
1,265.50 p
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UK : U.K.: London
3,412.50 p
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5.15%
Market Cap
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Rev. per Employee
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DAX
DX : Xetra Indices
15,459.39
+335.52 +2.22%
Volume: 82,970
Jan. 26, 2022 6:30p
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DE : Germany: Frankfurt
141.00
+1.56 +1.12%
Volume: 20,423
Jan. 26, 2022 7:36p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
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/zigman2/quotes/214908078/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 107.45
+5.40 +5.29%
Volume: 620,953
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36.64
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$3.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
$813,194
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DE : Germany: Frankfurt
67.51
+1.73 +2.63%
Volume: 21,706
Jan. 26, 2022 7:33p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
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€512,034
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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid.

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