By Emily Horton
A key gauge of European stocks finished slightly higher Friday, avoiding a fall into bear-market territory on Friday, amid nagging concerns over a global growth worries. Fears about slack in the international economy drove all the major European indexes to weekly declines of around 2% or worse.
Auto and pharmaceutical stocks were big losers on Friday, while Delivery Hero SE and rivals soared on deal news. /zigman2/quotes/202519651/delayed DE:DHER +0.96%
How are the markets performing?
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.83% , rose less than 0.1% to close at 336.67, but fell 3% for the week and ending the session down 16.4% from its most recent high, putting the pan-European index 3.6% shy of a widely accepted definition for a bear market.
Meanwhile, the Stoxx Europe 50 /zigman2/quotes/210599266/delayed XX:SX5P +0.78% gained 0.1% to 2,759.86, with that gauge off 15.7% from its 52-week high.
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.79% , which already is in bear territory, rose 0.2% to 10,633.82, but finished 2.1% lower for the week, while Frances’s CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.90% finished flat at 4,694.38, but booked a weekly slide of 3.3%. The biggest loser in Europe was Italy’s FTSE /zigman2/quotes/210598024/delayed IT:I945 +1.01% which lost 1% to 18,397.19, with a weekly skid of 2.7%.
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.02% ticked up 0.1% to 6,721.17, having lost 0.8% the previous day. For the week, the U.K. benchmark fell 1.8%.
The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.0370% fell to $1.1414, compared with $1.1448 in New York late on Thursday, while the British pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0464% climbed to $1.2649 from $1.2658.
What is driving markets?
Investors were fretting about the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown after House Republicans late Thursday approved a funding package, which includes money to fund the expansion of the southern border wall, a policy dear to President Trump, but which the Senate is unlikely to approve, setting the wheels in motion for a shutdown.
Meanwhile, trade tensions between the U.S. and China were ongoing after the U.S. Justice Department unsealed criminal charges against two Chinese nationals allegedly tied to a campaign to steal sensitive information from technology-service providers around the world and several U.S. government agencies. Asian stocks fell further on Friday after Wall Street slid on recession fears.
The week has been a losing one for global stocks as investors expressed disappointment by selling stocks violently after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates and trimmed its growth forecast.
In the U.K., London Gatwick Airport reopened after unauthorized drone activity forced the airport to ground planes for more than a day, during one of the airport’s busiest periods in the run up to Christmas.
What stocks are active?
The world’s biggest online delivery firm, Delivery Hero SE /zigman2/quotes/202519651/delayed DE:DHER +0.96% jumped 10.1% after news it plans to sell its German operations to Dutch-based rival Takeaway.com N.V. /zigman2/quotes/201653805/delayed NL:TKWY +0.60% for $1 billion (€930 million). It marks the end of Takeaway’s struggle to gain dominance in the German market. Just Eat PLC rose 3%.
In banking, Danske Bank /zigman2/quotes/209678580/delayed DK:DANSKE +1.30% lost 0.8% after cutting its full-year guidance for the second time in three months late Thursday, citing challenging financial market conditions in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, German-listed shares of Nike Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205233980/delayed DE:NKE +1.10% rose 9.2% after upbeat results late Thursday. Meanwhile, shares of Puma SE /zigman2/quotes/200977650/delayed DE:PUM +11.12% advanced 2.3% and adidas AG’s stock /zigman2/quotes/200903753/delayed CH:ADS +0.59% rose 0.5%.
/zigman2/quotes/200903753/delayed CH:ADS +0.59% Read: ‘Tis the season to be jolly — but not if you’re a British clothing giant
/zigman2/quotes/200903753/delayed CH:ADS +0.59% Pharmaceutical stocks led the Stoxx decliners with Galapagos N.V. /zigman2/quotes/208057460/delayed NL:GLPG +1.85% losing 4.1%, Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC /zigman2/quotes/204872832/delayed UK:HIK +1.56% ending 5.2% lower and Novartis AG /zigman2/quotes/203286410/delayed CH:NOVN +0.44% off 0.7%.