Astra Zeneca, pharma sector see gains in London
Equities markets in Europe were higher Friday, helped out by new data from the US Labor Department which showed that the US unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 10 percent in November, from 10.2 percent in October.
The FTSE 100 added 0.18 percent to 5,322.36 in London, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.22 percent to 9,195.95.
The pharmaceuticals sector was up as Astra Zeneca (LSE: AZN) added 2.56 percent and GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) was up 2.22 percent on the session.
In a mostly lower mining sector, Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) was the biggest decliner in London as it dropped 4.27 percent, while Eurasian Natural Resources (LSE: ENRC) was one of only two gainers in the sector, adding 0.66 percent.
The real estate sector was also mostly lower, led by St. Modwen Properties (LSE: SMP), as the property redevelopment group fell 4.23 percent.
The best performance of the session came on the 250, where solar energy group PV Crystalox Solar (LSE: PVCS) was up 5.09 percent, while British Airways (LSE: BAY) had the best day on the 100 with a gain of 2.81 percent.
Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on the session.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.45 percent to 10,022.59 while the Topix index added 0.17 percent to 889.58 and the Mothers market gained 0.47 percent to 406.21.
Japan Airlines (TYO: 9205) added 8.7 percent on a statement from American Airlines that it, along with an airline alliance and a private equity fund, are interested in investing over $1 billion in the troubled air carrier.
Consumer lender Takefuji (TYO: 8564), however, was 9.4 percent lower on reports that it has cut lending after its credit rating was reduced.
Elsewhere in the region, the Kospi added 0.6 percent to 1,624.76 in South Korea, while the Shanghai Composite gained 1.61 percent to 3,317.04.
On the other hand, the Hang Seng was down 0.25 percent to 22,498.15, the Taiex fell 0.44 percent to 7,650.91, the Sensex dropped 0.49 percent to 17,101.54 and the Straits Times Index was 0.61 percent lower to 2,791.01.
In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries fell 1.42 percent to 4,721.2 and the S&P/ASX200 was down 1.52 percent to 4,702.2.
In midday trade in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.14 percent to 10,380.74 while the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.63 percent to 2,186.8 and the S&P 500 was 0.38 percent higher to 1,104.13.
Gold prices were over $40 lower in New York trade after the US dollar strengthened, while oil prices had been trading slightly lower.