BRUSSELS (Alliance News) - European stocks fell Thursday as data showed a bigger-than-expected 1% contraction in the US economy during the first quarter.
Weakness in global markets was modest, however, as economists said unusually cold weather that dragged spending down, particularly in January.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks lost 0.1%, but remains up 1.7% from a week ago.
Around Europe, the German DAX was virtually unchanged percent, as was France's CAC 40. Meanwhile, the UK'sFTSE 100 is gained 0.3%, helped by merger news.
Shares of Smith & Nephew rallied 3.7% in London on a report Stryker Corp is planning to bid for the company. The US medical devices manufacturer, meanwhile, denied that it was about to launch a bid for its UK rival.
Financials are mostly lower, with Commerzbank losing 2.9% in Frankfurt, BNP Paribas down 0.9% in Paris and Barclays shares edging down 0.1% in London.
Kingfisher PLC shares slipped 4.7% after the home improvement retailer reported a smaller-than-expected 20% increase in first-quarter profit.
Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC picked up 2%. The company said it has secured a contract worth 35 million pounds to design and equip a large offshore support vessel for Norwegian ship owner Island Offshore.
Adidas declined 0.3% in Frankfurt after its supervisory board extended the mandates of Executive Board members Glenn Bennett and Robin Stalker by another three years beyond 2015.
Man Group PLC (EMG), the world's largest publicly traded hedge-fund manager, is in talks to buy Numeric Holdings LLC, Bloomberg reports. Man Group shares were down 3.2%.
In economic releases, Spain's economic growth accelerated in the first quarter from the prior quarter as initially estimated, final data from the statistical office INE showed, matching the flash estimate released on April 30. Gross domestic product grew 0.4% sequentially after rising 0.2% in the previous quarter.