European markets ended the day mixed on Thursday with investors concerned over Brexit and the U.S. elections as well as focused on corporate earnings.
Sterling higher on Brexit ruling
The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished flat with major bourses under pressure. Sterling moved 1.16 percent up against the dollar, after a court ruled that the U.K. government would have to request parliamentary approval before triggering "Article 50", and starting official negotiations with the EU.
The news calmed investors' concerns of a "hard Brexit" but hit the FTSE 100, which closed 0.8 percent lower, had recently seen strong gains for export-focused stocks on the back of the weaker pound.
The Bank of England held interest rates on Thursday and said it forecasts a 2.2 percent growth for 2016 and 1.4 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, analysts at Deutsche Bank told clients on Thursday that its base case scenario is for a U.K. general election to be held as early as 2017 after the "Article 50" ruling. However, Theresa May's spokeswoman dismissed the notion that an early election is now necessary.
In the U.S., anxiety among investors becomes more evident ahead of next week's presidential elections and polls continue to show a tight race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Credit Suisse falls 5%
On the earnings front, the French bank, Societe Generale, said its revenue went up 4 percent during the third quarter, due to higher fixed income trading. The bank was among the best performers during early trading and continued higher by the end of European trading with shares up 5.5 percent.
Credit Suisse saw net profit of 41 million Swiss francs ($42.25 million) in the third quarter of this year. The number surprised on the upside against a Reuters poll estimating a contraction of 120 million Swiss francs. However, shares were down 7 percent as it warned on a challenging environment ahead.
Meanwhile, Vonovia, the German real estate company, presented a rise in its key profit metric of 8 percent in the first nine months of 2016. Shares were up more than 0.9 percent, as a result of the report.
Morrison's shares were 0.9 percent up after the supermarket chain declared total sales, excluding fuel, dropped by 1.2 percent in the third quarter.
The French-Dutch transport firm, Air-France-KLM, posted a fall in revenue of 6.5 percent in the third quarter of this year. Tourists have been put off the French market on the back of the terrorist attacks. The carrier's shares were up about 6 percent.