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09 Apr 2021 | 17:46

Europe close: Stocks end week on a mixed note

(Sharecast News) - European markets finished the week in mixed fashion as traders and investors looked for direction.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.08% at 437.23, alongside a 0.21% advance for the German Dax to 15,234.16.

Italy's FTSE Mibtel meanwhile was down 0.60% to 24,429.41.

In the background, the US S&P 500 was again trading at record highs after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday called the economic recovery "uneven", in a signal that monetary policy would stay loose for the foreseeable future.

Powell was speaking after an unexpected spike in jobless claims which suggested the US economic recovery has not yet gained a stable footing, with the impact on the labour market likely to be post-pandemic.

"Much of this was due to the fact that many companies have accelerated their digital and online transformation programmes during the lockdowns, which will in turn reduce the number of jobs available as the technology savings kick in," said interactive investor head of markets Richard Hunter.

"In that event, there would be a wide need for workers to retrain, and as such the US would not be returning to the same economy of a year ago as a result."

On the European data front, German February industrial output fell 1.6% month on month, according to the Federal Statistics Office, and below a consensus forecasts of a 1.5% rise.

Investors were also concerned over the rollout of the AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine as Australia, the Philippines and the African Union become the latest nations to stop its usage for people under 30 over fears about its possible link to blood clots.

In equity news, German lubricant manufacturer Fuchs Petrolub was near the top of the Stoxx 600, after Baader Bank upgraded the stock to 'buy'.

Shares in Atlantia rose as the company said Spanish infrastructure group ACS had expressed interest in taking a surprise stake in its motorway unit.

Tui shares slid after the travel group said it was raising up to €400m (£348m) by selling convertible bonds to strengthen its finances during continuing travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

Airbus shares were higher after the plane maker reported slightly higher deliveries in the first quarter.

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