Business World

Sunday 17 December 2017

European shares hit by profit taking at end of strong week

EUROPEAN shares edged lower on Friday, with mixed economic data and renewed concerns about the political risks in the euro zone prompting investors to lock in profits at the end of the market's best week since April.

The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed down 0.2pc on the day at 1,194.83 points, slightly trimming its gains for the week to 2.7pc.

Sentiment was hurt by news that Portugal's opposition Socialists had demand a renegotiation of the country's bailout terms, and by U.S. data highlighting higher-than-expected inflation against weaker-than-forecast consumer sentiment.

"Some of the macro data was not conducive to a positive market and, as it is the end of the week, there is a certain amount of profit-taking," said Brenda Kelly, analyst at IG.

The Spanish market was the clear laggard, with the IBEX down 2.2pc, as investors fretted about the increased costs for its energy companies from a regulatory overhaul of the sector.


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