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Europe stocks close lower to cap off losing week; France's CAC 40 down 2.7%

Stefano Rellandini | Afp | Getty Images
  • European stocks tumbled back into the red on Friday, as France's CAC 40 weighed on the Stoxx 600 index.
  • Investors are concerned about a possible victory for the far-right National Rally party in France's upcoming parliamentary election.

LONDON — European stocks tumbled on Friday, rounding off a choppy week that has delivered a host of fresh information for investors.

The Stoxx 600 index closed down 0.95%, with the regional benchmark down more than 2% on the week.

French stocks plunged 2.7%, with investors still spooked by the possibility of victory for the populist, far-right National Rally party, following French President Emmanuel Macron's surprise decision to call domestic parliamentary elections. The country's short-dated bond yields, which move inversely to prices, tumbled by seven basis points.

Stateside, U.S. stocks moved lower in morning trade Friday, shaking off gains earlier in the week even as the S&P 500 remained poised for a weekly gain.

Two sets of inflation data — the consumer price index and the producer price index — both came in softer than expected this week, boosting U.S. stocks. Between those readings, the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and revised its outlook for interest rate cuts to just one such curb taking place in 2024.

Money market pricing continues to suggest expectations for two 25-basis-point reductions from the current 5.25% to 5.5% range before the end of the year, according to LSEG data.

Auto stocks have meanwhile been rocked by the EU's announcement of planned higher tariffs on Chinese electric vehicle makers, and by a U.K. probe into emissions claims.

On Friday, attention turns to Asia, where the Bank of Japan held its benchmark interest rate steady, but suggested that it may be considering the reduction of its purchase of Japanese government bonds.

Japanese stock markets reversed losses after the decision.

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