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European Stocks Close Higher For 3rd Straight Day

European stocks closed higher on Friday, extending recent gains, amid easing worries about tighter monetary stance from the Federal Reserve, and on some upbeat earnings updates from U.S. retailers.

Markets also benefited from optimism about easing of coronavirus restrictions in China and bargain hunting at several counters that had seen some sharp selling in recent sessions.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 1.42%. Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 surged up 1.62% and 1.64%, respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE gained 0.27%. Switzerland's SMI advanced 1.35%. The FTSE 100, the DAX and the CAC 40 all gained more than 2% in the week.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden posted sharp to moderate gains.

Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Turkey closed weak, while Czech Republic ended flat.

In the UK market, movements were quite choppy with investors assessing the likely impact of a 25% windfall tax on oil and gas producer's profits. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, who announced the measure on Thursday, did not rule out applying a similar levy to power generators, but said more work needs to be done on the idea.

Scottish Mortgage rallied 6.6%. Ocado Group surged up 5%. Experian, Ashtead Group, Halma, Melrose Industries, Aveva Group, Prudential, Spirax-Sarco Engineering, Rentokil Initial and Pershing Square Holdings gained 2 to 3.5%.

Harbour Energy Plc shares plunged 10.7%. ITV ended nearly 4% down. Pearson, Royal Mail, National Grid, Endeavour Mining, SSE and Fresenillo lost 1.4 to 2%.

In the German market, Infineon Technologies, Siemens Healthineers, Vonovia, Puma, Siemens, Linde, Sartorius, SAP and MTU Aero Engines gained 2 to 4.5%. Deutsche Wohnen, Adidas, Merck, Munich RE and Qiagen also ended notably higher.

RWE ended more than 3% down. E.ON shed about 2.1%. Zalando and Henkel also declined sharply.

In the French market, L'Oreal, Hermes International, Kering, LVMH, Dassault Systemes, Essilor and ArcelorMittal gained 3 to 4.3%. Pernod Ricard, Teleperformance, Airbus Group, STMicroElectronics, Air Liquide, BNP Paribas, Safran and Sodexo also moved up sharply.

Saint Gobain gained about 1.6%. The company has entered into agreements for the sale of its glass processing businesses Eckelt Glas and Glas Ziegler in Austria to the privately-owned German group AEQUITA, as well as the sale of its holding in the co-venture Glaskontor Erfurt - a glass processing business in Germany - to the CALEOGLAS Group.

Unibail Rodamco drifted down more than 3%. Valeo, Sanofi and Carrefour were among the other prominent losers.

In economic news, Eurozone money supply expanded at a slower pace in April, while the growth in loans to the private sector accelerated, data from the European Central Bank showed on Friday.

The broad monetary aggregates M3 grew at a pace of 6% in April, slower than the 6.3% increase posted in March. Economists had forecast M3 to climb again by 6.3%.

Likewise, the narrow measure, M1 that comprises currency in circulation and overnight deposits, gained 8.2% annually, following an 8.8% increase in March.

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