LONDON — Europe’s stock markets ended the day on the upswing, despite downbeat news from Italy and the U.K. U.S. markets, meanwhile, edged downward during the half-day of trading following the Thanksgiving holiday.
At Friday’s close, the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 1.2 percent to 2,856.97, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, which rose 1.2 to 5,492.87. The FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.7 percent to 5,164.65, followed by Milan’s FTSE MIB, which increased 0.1 percent to 13,937.40.
The euro traded at $1.32, while the pound traded at $1.55.
The U.S. indices, meanwhile, ended their half-day on a down note: the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.2 percent at 11,231.94, while the S&P Retail Index fell 0.8 percent to 500.21. The Nasdaq Composite also fell 0.8 percent to 2,441.51.
In Europe, retail and luxury stocks were mixed, with the day’s biggest gainers including Benetton Group, which rose 2.4 percent to 3.19 euros; Unilever, which climbed 2 percent to 23.75 euros; and LVMH, which advanced 1.1 percent to 108.10 euros.
Among the stocks that lost the most were French Connection, which was down 3.4 percent to 0.50 pounds; Mulberry Group, which tumbled 2.1 percent to 13.70 pounds; and Aeffe, which fell 1.7 percent to 0.54 euros.
Earlier in the day, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee said the U.K. economy will take more than five years to reach its pre-recession output levels. Martin Weale said in a speech on Friday that the downturn is the longest the U.K. has witnessed since World War One.
Meanwhile, interest on Italy’s six-month treasury bills has rocketed to more than 6.5 percent, nearly double their rate at the end of October. Such high interest is widely believed to be unsustainable in the long-term.
On Friday, Goldman Sachs added to the bad news, warning in a report that growth in the euro zone would be just 0.1 percent in 2012, and that banks exposed to sovereign debt in the region would increasingly come under strain in the coming months.