By Sruthi Shankar
(.) – European stocks closed unchanged on Friday, as rising tensions between the United States and China hit banks exposed to Asia and luxury stocks, but hopes for a global recovery left weekly gains intact for the main indices.
* The stock markets had a volatile session after learning that Beijing plans to impose a new security law in Hong Kong, which increased the possibility of new protests in the world financial center and prompted the warning of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, of that Washington will react “strongly”.
* British insurer Prudential, highly focused on Asia, sank 9.3% to bottom of the pan-European STOXX 600 index, which closed the session unchanged. HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered lost 5% and 2.4%, respectively.
* The STOXX managed to erase early losses of up to 1.7%, thanks to the 1.3% advance in media stocks and the euro zone banks bouncing from record lows.
* Cyclical sectors such as mining, travel and leisure and automakers performed prominently in the week, helping the STOXX 600 score its best week since April 10, in hopes that the easing of restrictions imposed by the coronavirus drives a faster economic recovery.
* Oil stocks fell under pressure from declining crude prices after China abandoned its annual growth target for the first time, raising concern about demand for the world’s second-biggest oil consumer.
* Luxury goods manufacturers such as LVMH and Kering SA, which make a large part of their income in China, fell by about 2%. Richemont, maker of Cartier, declined 4.2%.
* Most markets in UK and USA will be closed on Monday for public holidays.
(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)