Wed. Jul 6th, 2022

LONDON — European markets were muted on Friday, with global sentiment hanging in the balance as the Ukraine-Russia crisis reaches a pivotal moment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered just above the flatline in early trade, with autos adding 0.8% while travel and leisure stocks fell 1%.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an urgent appeal against a Russian invasion, after Western leaders rubbished the Kremlin’s claims of a drawback of troops and Ukraine accused pro-Russian separatists of shelling a civilian village.

Asia-Pacific shares mostly slid overnight as tensions in eastern Europe continued to rattle investors, but selling pressure eased on hopes that a meeting between Blinken and Sergey Lavrov next week may yield a diplomatic solution to the standoff.

U.S. stock futures pointed higher in early premarket trade after the Dow posted its worst day of 2022 during regular trading hours on Thursday, falling more than 600 points.

Corporate earnings in Europe on Friday came from Allianz, NatWest and Sika, among others.

In terms of individual share price movement, Finnish pharmaceutical company Orion soared more than 22% in early trade after Bayer on Thursday announced positive results from clinical trials of a prostate cancer drug developed by the two companies.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, French luxury group Hermes fell 5.7% after missing fourth-quarter sales expectations.

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