Markets

European Stocks Post Tenth Consecutive Day of Gains; Ipsen Down 13%

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  • Overnight, MSCI's aggregate gauge of global stock markets hit a new record high.
  • "Arguably, markets are now more focused on the state of play regarding Covid, and in particular, the spread of the Delta variant," Xian Chan, chief investment officer for wealth management at HSBC, said in a note.

LONDON — European stocks were higher Friday, closing out a tenth consecutive positive session as investors assessed global economic indicators and rising Covid-19 cases.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended up by about 0.2%, having hit a fresh record high earlier in the session. Most sectors and major bourses were in positive territory.

Shares in Asia-Pacific retreated in Friday's trade, with South Korea's Kospi leading losses among major markets as shares of firms tied to conglomerate Samsung tumbled following the release of the company's heir from prison.

Stateside, the S&P 500 and Dow indexes hit fresh all-time highs on Friday as both indexes looked to cap off a positive week on a high note.

Weekly jobless claims came in on par with expectations at 375,000, a third consecutive decline, while producer prices rose 0.9% in July against a forecast of 0.5%, calling into question whether inflation has peaked.

Overnight, MSCI's aggregate gauge of global stock markets hit a new record high.

"Arguably, markets are now more focused on the state of play regarding Covid, and in particular, the spread of the Delta variant," Xian Chan, chief investment officer for wealth management at HSBC, said in a note.

"But regardless of where you look, the general view (and hope) is the broad success of vaccination programmes will allow the recovery story to continue in H2 this year."

Biggest movers

Back in Europe, Adidas has sold Reebok for up to $2.5 billion to Authentic Brands, as the German sportswear giant opts to focus on its central brand. Adidas shares added 2.3% on Friday.

Ipsen shares plunged 12.7% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after the French pharmaceutical company withdrew a new drug application in the U.S.

At the top of the European blue chip index, Swedish health care company Addlife added 4.1%.

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— CNBC's Ryan Browne contributed to this report.

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