German, UK Stocks Fall as French Shares Slightly Up

By Dipo Olowookere 

European markets are modestly higher Friday morning amid concerns about a trade war and geopolitical issues. With energy stocks finding some support thanks to higher crude oil prices, major markets in the region look set to end another week on a firm note.

Awaiting the outcome of trade talks between the U.S. and China, traders are largely tracking quarterly earnings reports for direction.

While the French CAC 40 Index is just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index is down by 0.1 percent and the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.3 percent.

AstraZenca has come under pressure after the drug maker reported a 37 percent drop in first quarter profits.

According to data released by Destatis today, German consumer price inflation unexpectedly accelerated in April, albeit marginally. Producer price inflation rose to 2.0 percent in April from 1.9 percent in March. Meanwhile, the rate was forecast to slow to 1.8 percent.

On a monthly basis, producer prices climbed 0.5 percent from March, when prices edged up by 0.1 percent. Prices were expected to rise by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, German wholesale price inflation accelerated to 1.4 percent in April from 1.2 percent in March. On a monthly basis, wholesale prices rose 0.5 percent.

A report from Eurostat said Eurozone construction output fell for the third straight month in March, declining 0.3 percent following a 0.7 percent decrease in February.

On a yearly basis, growth in construction output improved to 0.8 percent in March from 0.2 percent in February, revised down from 0.4 percent.