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European stocks ended the day mixed after two weeks of growth, as investors monitor the situation in Ukraine and the Middle East, and evaluate the financial performance of companies.
It is worth noting that on Sunday the fighting in Gaza subsided a bit after the Islamic militants of Hamas said they support a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the light of the Muslim holiday.
Meanwhile, member states of the European Union agreed to impose economic sanctions against Russia because of its involvement in fomenting the crisis in Ukraine. Moscow has responded to the sanctions, warning that they will prevent cooperation on global security.
Investors are also watching corporate reporting. Of companies in the Stoxx 600, which presented the results of this season, 57 percent exceeded estimates for earnings and 51 percent better than expected sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
As for today's economic reports that little influenced by the U.S. data, which showed that after three consecutive months of strong growth unfinished Home Sales slowed slightly in June. National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that the index of pending home sales (PHSI), predictive indicator based on signed contracts, dropped 1.1 percent to 102.7 in June from 103.8 in May and was 7.3 percent lower than in June 2013 (110.8). Despite the decline, the index exceeds the level of 100, which is considered a middle-contract activity, the second consecutive month.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR, said that the housing market is stabilizing, but the current problems hinder the full potential sales. "The activity is significantly higher than at the beginning of this year, as prices have become more moderate, and inventory levels have improved," he said.
Meanwhile, adding that market participants gradually shift focus to other important statistical reports on the U.S. economy - preliminary data on GDP for the second quarter of 2014, the July report on unemployment and the index of business activity in the manufacturing sector. According to experts, the number of jobs in the U.S. economy in July increased by 228 thousand after increasing by 262 million in June, unemployment remained unchanged at 6.1%. U.S. GDP, according to the consensus of experts in April-June 2014 increased by 3%, after declining by 2.9% in the previous quarter.
National benchmark indexes fell in 15 of the 18 western European markets.
FTSE 100 6,788.07 -3.48 -0.05% CAC 40 4,344.77 +14.22 +0.33% DAX 9,598.17 -45.84 -0.48%
Value of the shares of Irish airline Ryanair Holdings Plc jumped 3.0%. Europe's largest airline discounter increased its net profit in the first fiscal quarter by 152% due to a significant increase in demand for its services during the Easter holidays, and raised its forecast for the entire fingoda and announced the payment of the special dividend.
Paper Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC rose 3.0%. British chemical company announced the separation of the pharmaceutical division.
The cost of the investment fund shares Aberdeen Asset Management Plc fell 5.3% after it became aware of reducing the amount of assets under management fund by 0.6 percent - up to 322.5 billion pounds.
Cost of TNT Express NV fell 5.6 percent. Dutch delivery company reported that second-quarter profit amounted to 1.66 billion euros, compared with a forecast of 1.69 billion euros.
Wincor Nixdorf shares fell 4.7 percent after reporting third-quarter revenue reached 573 million euros ($ 770 million), compared with estimates at 600 million euros.
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