European stocks had another turbulent five-day run, a third consecutive weekly loss, in spite of Friday’s flourish on the back of market-pleasing US jobs data.
Investors pushed up telecoms stocks and utilities on the last day of the week, the main sectors to register gains all week as trade remained cautious. Much of the downside weight came from fund managers, retailers and – following a near-9 per cent fall during the week on the Istanbul Stock Exchange – those companies with exposure to Turkish markets.
Data showing a 0.5 per cent fall in retail sales in April was underlined by caution from the chief executive of Dutch supermarket operator Ahold, who expressed caution for the year ahead. Meanwhile, French rival Carrefourwas the subject of a downgrade by HSBC, to underweight from neutral, after the broker said sales had slowed in many of the retailer’s key markets.
Shares in Ahold were down 5.8 per cent to €11.80 over the week, while Carrefour fell 5.6 per cent to €21.54. Carrefour’s domestic rival Casino Guichardlost 5 per cent to €76.54.
The benchmark FTSE Eurofirst 300 index rose 1.3 per cent on Friday, but it fell 1.8 per cent over the week, to 1,194.26. One of the biggest losses among the region’s indices was Turkey’s 8.9 per cent fall as political tensions increased.
Belgacomwas among the few winners in the telecoms and utilities sectors. It’s stock climbed 0.9 per cent to €17.44 over the week after it was upgraded by Morgan Stanley, who liked the company’s “strategy, network and balance sheet”.