Europe's top share index extended losses in midday trade as weak euro zone economic data, did little to boost risk appetite among investors ahead of U.S. jobs numbers and elections in France and Greece over the weekend.
Corporate earnings continued to impress, however, with Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas and Lafarge proving companies can still lift profits despite the austere economic backdrop.
The FTSEurofirst fell 6.31 points, or 0.6 percent to 1,038.08 by 1035 GMT, having traded in a 40-point range since early April. It found support around the 1,029 level, the 50 percent retracement of the LTRO rally that began mid-December.
Funds ‘increasingly bullish on Saudi equities’
Middle East funds are increasingly positive toward Saudi Arabia’s stock market as oil prices appear to be stabilising and the kingdom is preparing to open its bourse to direct foreign investment, a R