Europe Markets: European stocks flat, but on track for third straight down week


European stocks were little changed on Friday, suggesting that investors were finding few reasons to buy going into the weekend, particularly after an extended period of weakness.

Major European indexes are poised for weekly losses, with some gauges set for their third straight down week. U.K. stocks are on track for their worst week in months.

Where are the major benchmarks trading?

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.01%  rose less than 0.1% to 381.69.

For the week, the index is down 1.2% and on track for its third straight negative week. The recent losses, which include the pan-European gauge’s biggest one-day fall since June 25 on Wednesday, have come on concerns over Turkey’s currency crisis, as well as weak commodity prices.

Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, -0.07%  dipped less than 0.1% to 12,231.

The DAX is also poised for its third straight down week, its longest stretch since February. As of Thursday’s close, it is down 1.5% for the week.

France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.17%  TKTK. It is down 1.2% on the week, its first three-week decline since June.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.05%  was unchanged at 7,448. The FTSE is down 1.4% thus far this week, its biggest weekly decline since March. On Thursday, the index rose and put end to its longest streak of daily declines since February.

The euro EURUSD, +0.0879%  rose slightly against the dollar, changing hands at $1.1391, compared with $1.1378 late Thursday in New York. Thus far this year, the euro is down more than 5% against the buck.

What is driving the market?

Recent trading has been driven by the currency crisis in Turkey, as well as uncertainty regarding trade policy with respect to the United States and its major trading partners. Both issues will likely continue to dictate market sentiment, and while there were few developments in either issue overnight, they have recently shown some signs of stability.

On Thursday, it was reported that the Chinese Commerce Ministry would send a delegation to the U.S. later this month to resume trade talks, the first such meeting since July. Separately, the Turkish lira rose for a fourth straight session against the dollar on Friday, suggesting the recent all-time low could represent at least a near-term bottom. The lira has gained nearly 11% against the buck over the course of the week, though it remains down more than 15% over the month of August.

European investors are looking ahead to a reading on July consumer prices. Analysts expect the consumer price index to be up 2.1% in the month, while core CPI rises 1.1%.

What stocks are in focus?

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S MAERSKB, +3.57%  rose 3.1% after it reported its second-quarter results and said it would seek a separate listing for its drilling unit next year.

Rovio Entertainment Oyj ROVIO, +2.20%  , the developer behind the mobile game “Angry Birds,” rose 3.7% after it reported a drop in its second-quarter earnings but stood by its full-year outlook.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC RBS, +0.29%  said that Ewen Stevenson, the firm’s chief financial officer, would be stepping down on Sept. 30. Katie Murray, its deputy chief financial officer, will take over the role on an interim basis while a search for a permanent successor is performed. Shares rose 0.3%.

Koninklijke Vopak N.V. VPK, -5.89%  fell 4.4% after it reported a drop in its second-quarter earnings and revenue.

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