European shares finished the day slightly lower but with London, Frankfurt and Paris all ahead. Among the factors for investors US, Japanese and Indian data suggesting the economic downturn may be easing.
Revised first-quarter US GDP figures showed less of a contraction than initial estimates and improved company results for that period. Banks and insurers gained reversing Thursday’s losses. Commodity prices also gained off the back of figures showing Japan’s industrial output rose 5.2 percent in April and reassuring manufacturers’ forecasts. Oil is at a six-month high and on track for its largest monthly percentage gain in more than a decade. The dollar has been at a five-month low against major currencies.