European shares rose slightly on Friday morning but the markets are set for worst week in three months as the realities of rising global protectionism sank in, particularly for the autos sector.
French business activity was stronger than expected in June as a better services sector compensated for weaker manufacturing.
Investors were also keeping an eye on German and euro area PMIs out this morning, reports Reuters.
The STOXX was up 0.3 per cent by 0730 GMT, while Germany's DAX rose 0.2 per cent.
Banks drove the lion’s share of gains after the 35 largest US banks cleared the first stage of the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test.
US subsidiaries of Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and UBS easily met all the minimum capital requirements.
Autos stocks extended their losses, down 0.4 per cent and the worst-performing sector. They sank on Thursday after Daimler warned profits would be hit by Chinese tariffs on cars imported from the US.
The autos sector index was eyeing its worst week since the sell-off at the start of January 2016.
In single-stock moves, BPER Banca led the STOXX, jumping 6.8 per cent after Unipol raised its stake in the Italian regional lender.
It helped the Italian banking sector recover some of Thursday’s losses as heavyweights Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo also rose.
Shares in French state-controlled utility EDF declined 1.8 per cent after the head of state holding company APE said France has no intention of splitting up the firm.
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