Investing.com - European markets opened higher on Friday, on signs of progress on the German political front and as traders focused on a fresh batch of corporate earnings reports.
Sentiment was boosted by reports German coalition party leaders reached a breakthrough in talks to form a new government.
Chancellor Angela Merkel entered into talks with a rival party earlier in the week in a last-ditch effort to form a coalition government.
Financial stocks were mixed, as Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) declined 0.64% and BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) gained 0.39% in France, while Germany's Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) and Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) slipped 0.13% and 0.15%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Unicredit (MI:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) rose 0.29% and 0.40% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MC:SAN) and BBVA (MC:BBVA) climbed 0.52% and 0.67%.
Elsewhere, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (MI:FCHA) saw shares surge 2.69% after the automaker announced plans to move its pickup trucks production from Mexico to Michigan in 2020.
Shares in Bayer (DE:BAYGN) declined 0.45% after the German drug company said it raised €1.8 billion from selling a 10.4% stake in Covestro, nearing a complete divestment from the plastics company.
In London, FTSE 100 edged up 0.10%, boosted by GKN PLC (LON:GKN), whose shares skyrocketed 22.10% following news the engineering company rejected an unsolicited offer from rival Melrose and said it plans to split its business in half to improve performance.
Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) added to gains, with shares up 2.30% after the engineering business said the net impact of new U.S. tax legislation on the company would be favourable over the medium term.
In the financial sector, stocks were mostly higher as Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) inched up 0.06% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) added 0.10%, while Barclays (LON:BARC) jumped 1.07%. HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) underperformed and retreated 0.78%
Meanwhile, mining stocks were broadly lower on the commodity-heavy index. Shares in BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) dropped 0.46% and Anglo American (LON:AAL) lost 0.65%, while Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) tumbled 0.97%. Glencore (LON:GLEN) overperformed as shares gained 0.43%.
Micro Focus International PLC (LON:MCRO) was one of the worts performers on the index, with shares down 0.72%, as the group warned its full financial year revenue will drop between 2 to 4% after disappointing first half results.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.34% increase, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.18% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.22% rise.
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