Europe closes lower after week-long rally
European shares closed slightly lower on Friday, after posting four days of successive gains, with weak data from the euro zone showing that its economic recovery still hangs in the balance.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed down 0.2 percent at 1,194.83 points, having reached a session high of 1,203.36. The index ended the week up 2.7 percent.
The FTSE 100 finished flat, while the German DAX closed up 0.6 percent and the French CAC 40 down 0.5 percent. Still, across the week, the FTSE posted gains of 2.6 percent, while the DAX saw a 5.11 percent rise.
The Spanish IBEX 35 provisionally closed down 2.3 percent on the day on Friday, with inflation data showing that consumer prices in Spain rose at their fastest rate since March, reaching 2.1 percent year-on-year.
The Portuguese PSI 20 provisionally closed down 1.09 percent, due to ongoing political instability after two senior government ministers resigned. Portugal's government has requested a delay to its next bailout review due to the "current political situation" on Thursday.
Fed Feel-Good Factor Wanes
The feel-good factor has begun to ease since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke on Wednesday, reassuring investors that the U.S. economy was recovering, and that stimulus measures would only be ended if economic indicators continue to show improvement.
There was poor data from the euro area on Friday: factory output numbers showed a fall of 1.3 percent in May, year-on-year. The month-on month number fell by 0.3 percent, below estimates for a 0.2 percent drop.
Daimler led the DAX higher on Friday, provisionally closing 6.16 percent higher on the day and 10.16 percent higher on the week. Daimler's second quarter update provided a positive surprise, with earnings boosted by the sale of its stake in EADS.
Meanwhile, the U.K.'s Reckitt Benckiser saw its biggest share fall since May 2011. It dropped 5.1 percent after a U.S. healthcare provider dropped a version of one of its drugs.