Europe Markets

Markets End Mixed, Helped By Wall Street


European shares closed majority higher on Thursday, led by Swiss bank Credit Suisse and drugmakers such as Novartis, and helped also as Wall Street turned positive just before European markets closed.

The FTSEurofirst 300 benchmark of top European shares closed unofficially 0.1 percent higher at 1,314.88 points after a choppy session which saw the index drop as much as 1.3 percent.

Credit Suisse rose 4.2 percent despite booking a further 5.3 billion Swiss francs ($5.18 billion) in credit-linked writedowns, a move which investors saw as positive due to the bank's reduced risk exposure.

Novartis was up 2.9 percent after JPMorgan raised its price target on the stock to 63 Swiss francs.

Better than expected quarterly earnings from the likes of engineering group ABB, whose shares rose 6.5 percent, as well as chemical and pharmaceutical group Bayer, up 3.1 percent, underpinned the markets.

But worries about slower economic growth and falling metals prices sparked a sell-off in mining stocks such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, both of which fell more than 4 percent.

Equity market performance across Europe was mixed, with Britain's FTSE 100 down 0.5 percent and the French CAC 40 0.3 percent lower while Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent and the Swiss SMI jumped 1.9 percent.