European stocks edged up slightly in cautious trade on Friday after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia is consolidating and preparing “powerful strikes” in the country’s east and south, including besieged Mariupol,
Worries about gas supply eased somewhat after Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom said Friday that it was continuing to supply Europe with natural gas.
Russia supplies about a third of Europe’s gas, so the removal of this would have resulted in a full-blown energy crisis.
In economic news, flash inflation and final manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ survey results from Eurozone are due later in the day, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.
Across the Atlantic, investors await the March U.S. jobs data for cues on inflation and the Fed’s policy stance.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index edged up 0.3 percent to 457.42, with healthcare and consumer staple stocks pacing the gainers.
The German DAX, France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were up between 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent.
German banks Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank rose about 3 percent each.
Sodexo shares plunged 7 percent in Paris after the catering and food services group lowered expectations for full-year organic revenue growth.
Higher iron ore prices helped lift miners, with Anglo American and Glencore adding 1-2 percent in London.
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