LONDON (ShareCast) - - Eurosceptics on backfoot in Holland and France
- Fighting flares up in Ukraine
- Fitch upgrades Greece´s debt rating
- S&P upgrades Spain´s debt rating
FTSE 100: -0.19%
CAC 40: -0.07%
FTSE MIB: -0.17%
IBEX 35: -0.35%
Stoxx 600: -0.16%
The main European equity benchmarks all slipped quickly into the red early on Friday morning, despite the gains seen overnight on Wall Street, as traders geared up for this weekend´s results of the European parliamentary elections and amidst reports of a flare up in fighting between Ukrainian military and pro-Russian militants.
Acting as a backdrop, a high ranking Russian military officer reportedly warned that his country would have to take steps if NATO continued to build up its presence near its borders.
On the positive side of the things, initial reports indicated that Eurosceptic parties may have lost some ground in France and the Netherlands.
The German IFO Institute was due to release its German business confidence index for the month of May at 09:00.
Overnight Fitch raised its rating on Greece´s sovereign long-term bonds by one notch to B, from B-, although that continues to be five levels below investment grade.
In parallel, Standard&Poor´s improved the Kingdom of Spain´s debt rating to BBB from BBB-.
Swiss employment firm Adecco (VTX: ADEN.VX - news) was an early riser after UBS (Xetra: UB0BL6 - news) upgraded the stock to a 'buy' from 'sell' beforehand.
From a sector standpoint the best performing industrial groups on the DJ Stoxx 600 were: Telecommunications (-0.51%), Retail (-0.40%) and Food (-0.39%).
German gross domestic product expanded at an 0.8% quarter-on-quarter clip during the first three months of the year, as expected.
Euro slightly lower
The euro fell 0.05% to $1.3650.
Brent crude futures were edging higher by 0.072% to $110.44 per barrel, according to the ICE.
- Security Upgrades & Downgrades
- debt rating