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Banks, oil firms weigh on Europe; Novo jumps

Published: November 9, 2012 | 9:59 am
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LONDON — European stock markets swung between small gains and losses in early action on Friday, with banks and oil firms adding pressure, as upbeat Chinese data failed to spur investor optimism amid euro-zone concerns.

Shares of Novo Nordisk AS (CPH:DK:NOVOB) (NYSE:NVO) jumped 10%, after a panel advising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted to approve two insulin products and recommended a study to assess the possible risk of the drugs causing heart attacks.

Also on the move, shares of Credit Agricole SA (EPA:FR:ACA) slumped 4.7%, as the French bank reported a wider-than-expected loss for the third quarter.

Investors also focused on China, where a raft of data showed encouraging trends. Industrial output and retail sales rose 9.6% and 14.5%, respectively, in October, with both readings topping analysts’ expectations. See: China posts upbeat data amid leadership change.

Asia stocks, however, closed the day on a weak footing, mirroring losses on U.S. bourses the prior day. See: Asia stocks down but China data curbs losses.

Among notable movers in Europe, shares of BP PLC (LSS:UK:BP) (NYSE:BP) lost 1.1%, after the oil group reportedly was ordered to pay $255 million to the state of Alaska for two oil spills in 2006.

Oil prices were also lower.

The FTSE 100 index (FTI:UK:UKX) fell 0.2% to 5,762.31.

In Germany, banking shares were on the decline. Commerzbank AG (FRA:DE:CBK) gave up 4.2% and Deutsche Bank AG (FRA:DE:DBK) (NYSE:DB) slipped 1.8%.

The DAX 30 index (ITF:DX:DAX) dropped 0.6% to 7.164.29.

Among French stocks, shares of Lafarge SA (EPA:FR:LG) fell 1.2%, after the cement group said profit fell in the third quarter due to restructuring charges.

Total SA shares (EPA:FR:FP) (NYSE:TOT) inched 0.3% lower.

The CAC 40 index (ENX:FR:PX1) traded 0.1% lower at 3,403.07.

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