PARIS (Alliance News) - The European markets are trading mixed on Friday, after data showed that business confidence among German firms deteriorated more-than-expected in May. Further, developments in Ukraine and Thailand kept gains in check.
Confidence among German firms deteriorated more-than-expected in May, reports said citing Ifo survey. Business confidence fell to 110.4 in May from 111.2 in April. The score was forecast to fall to 110.9.
Meanwhile, sovereign ratings of Spain and Greece were upgraded by major rating agencies as remedial measures taken by both nations over the last few years started to support economic recovery and revamp fiscal positions.
UK house prices continued to rise in May, as households expect the price of their property to rise at the strongest pace since early 2009, a combined survey by property consultancy Knight Frank and Markit Economics showed.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks and the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major UK companies, are swinging across the unchanged line.
The German DAX is rising 0.23% and the French CAC 40 is marginally higher. The UK'sFTSE 100 and Switzerland's SMI down 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively.
In Frankfurt, RWE and E.ON are gaining 1.5% and 1.2%, respectively.
Airline Lufthansa is gaining 1.3% and chemicals firm Lanxess is adding moderately. Lanxess was upgraded to ''Buy'' from ''Neutral'' at Goldman Sachs.
Deutsche Annington and Symrise are gaining around 2% each, after positive broker recommendations.
Goldman Sachs cut Linde to ''Neutral'' from ''Buy.'' The stock is moderately lower.
In Paris, Credit Agricole is gaining 2.2%. BNP Paribas and Societe Generale are moderately higher.
Carrefour and Alcatel Lucent are up 1.4% each.
Meanwhile, Alstom is falling 1.4%. General Electric has agreed to extend its deadline by three weeks for its USD16.9 billion bid to acquire the energy assets of the speed-train maker.
In London, technology firm Smiths Group is notably lower. The company said its underlying revenue for the nine months ended May 3, 2014 was slightly weaker than last year.
Tullow Oil is falling 1.8% and Admiral Group is sliding 1.6%.
Go-Ahead Group is surging 10%, after announcing the award of UK's largest rail franchise.
The Asian stocks followed Wall Street higher after improving factory activity data in China and the US suggested the global economy is recovering. That said, lingering concerns over the political crisis in Ukraine and a military coup in Thailand kept overall gains in check.
In the US, futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the Dow edged up 0.1% and the S&P 500 inched up 0.2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.6% to reach its best closing level in a month.
Crude for July delivery is gaining USD0.05 to USD103.79 per barrel, while gold is falling USD3.1 to USD1291.9 a troy ounce.