LONDON – European stock markets were uneven in late morning trading on Thursday, while Unilever shares made a modest gain following the company’s decision to sell or spin off its spreads business.
The CAC 40 in Paris was the only market on the rise, gaining 0.2 percent, to 5,099.57. The FTSE 100 in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were both down 0.2 percent to 7,314.21 and to 12,187.94, respectively. The FTSE MIB in Milan was flat at 20,250.11.
The euro traded at $1.08, while the pound fetched $1.24 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.00 at 12:50 p.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the morning’s biggest fallers including Asos.com, 3.4 percent to 55.06 pounds after the company said earlier this week that price cuts had dented profit margins. French Connection Group declined 2.3 percent to 0.35 pounds.
Among the few stocks to gain ground were Inditex, 2.3 percent to 33.65 euros; Koovs.com, 1.1 percent to 0.48 euros, and Unilever, which edged up 0.9 percent to 46.99 euros after the company announced the results of a strategic review. As reported, it plans to dispose of its spreads division, simplify its organizational structure and boost profits.