European share indexes ended Friday’s session mostly flat or down with Paris underperforming.
Investors were cautious ahead of the too-close-to-call first round of France’s presidential election and the CAC 40 fell 0.37 percent while the euro slipped against the dollar.
But banks, seen as benefiting from the victory of a mainstream candidate in the French vote, were Europe’s biggest gainers.
Centrist Emmanuel Macron was leading most opinion polls for Sunday’s election and was expected to contest a second-round run-off with Marine Le Pen, head of the anti-European Union and anti-immigrant National Front.
“Although Macron has been labeled as favourite to become the next French president, an unexpected Marine Le Pen victory could deal a symbolic blow to the unity of the European Union and ultimately create a tidal wave of risk aversion,” FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga said in a note.
London’s FTSE edged down after its worst week in over five months following the surprise UK election announcement.
Energy companies lost value as crude oil prices retreated on worries the output cuts engineered by OPEC will not be able to restore balance to an oversupplied market in the face of increasing US production and high inventories.
Oil suffered its biggest weekly drop in a month, with the US benchmark WTI slipping below $50 a barrel.