European Shares Broadly Higher In Cautious Trading

European stocks were mostly higher on Friday after reports of planned talks between Russia and the U.S. over Ukraine and Moscow’s claims around a troop withdrawal. Steep losses on Wall Street overnight served to keep underlying sentiment cautious to some extent.

The Dow had its worst day of 2022 overnight and the S&P 500 marked its biggest daily percentage drop in two weeks due to concerns over the possibility Russia may invade Ukraine.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was marginally higher at 464.94 after declining 0.7 percent on Thursday.

The German DAX was little changed with a negative bias, while France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were up around 0.3 percent each.

Swiss chemicals company Sika AG fell 1.5 percent after confirming its previous target of 6-8 percent annual growth up to 2023.

Finnish drug manufacturer Orion jumped 19 percent after announcing positive trial results for its prostate cancer treatment.

German insurer Allianz fell 1.6 percent after it took a €3.7bn hit to its pre-tax profits.

Bayer rallied 2 percent after boosting sales estimates for Nubeqa drug.

Kingspan Group, an Irish building materials company, advanced 1.4 percent after its fiscal 2021 profit climbed 48 percent.

Bank holding company NatWest Group tumbled 3.4 percent after warning of uncertain economic outlook.

Multinational cinema operator Cineworld lost 2.5 percent. The company said it has reached an agreement with creditors over a disputed and delayed repayment.

French carmaker Renault gained 1.4 percent after it swung to profit in 2021 and announced the appointment of Thierry Piéton as Chief Financial Officer with effect from March 1.

Luxury group Hermes plunged 4 percent after its fourth-quarter sales came in a tad lower than expectations.

Power utility EDF lost 4.6 percent after announcing a rights issue.

In economic releases, the euro area current account surplus decreased to EUR 23 billion in December from EUR 24 billion in the previous month, the European Central Bank said.

U.K. retail sales volume grew 1.9 percent month-on-month, in contrast to the revised 4 percent decline in December, separate data showed.

This was faster than the expected growth of 1.0 percent. On a yearly basis, overall retail sales advanced 9.1 percent, reversing a 1.7 percent fall in December.