Europe Shares Close Mixed on Soft US Data
European shares closed mixed after disappointing corporate and macroeconomic reports from the U.S. dented upbeat momentum from Italy after its successful presidential elections.
Shares in Italy and Spain closed around 1.5 percent higher on the news that Italian President Giorgio Napolitano was elected for a second term over the weekend. He is expected to work to end the political impasse which has existed since the country's inconclusive national election.
However, European shares in general moved downwards after Dow component Caterpillar posted first quarter earnings and revenue that missed expectations. The firm cut its full-year outlook for 2013 to reflect a drop in demand for heavy equipment from its mining customers.
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Shares were also pressured downwards by disappointing home sales data from the U.S. Existing home sales ticked lower by 0.6 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed 0.1 percent higher at 1,154.68 points, having posted a 2.4 percent weekly loss last week, its worst weekly loss since November.