Bank stocks in Europe fell after renewed unrest in the US

European banks closed lower in stock markets on Friday. The unrest in the banking sector in the US has caused a drop in investor confidence. American First Republic Bank collapsed again on Wall Street and appeared to be bailed out by authorities. ING fell 1.7 percent on Damrak and was the biggest faller on the AEX. ABN AMRO also fell 0.6 percent.

Commerzbank fell 4.4 percent in Frankfurt and BNP Paribas fell 0.3 percent in Paris. NatWest fell 3.8 percent in London after quarterly results were released. Customers withdrew £20bn (almost €23bn) of assets from British banks last quarter. Barclays lost 1.3 percent in London.

In addition to the unrest in the US, upcoming interest rate decisions also play a role. Next week, both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Federal Reserve will consider whether to raise interest rates further to curb inflation.

Investors also processed disappointing growth in the eurozone economy. The first quarter grew 0.1 percent from the previous quarter, while 0.2 percent growth was expected. Germany, the largest economy in the euro zone, also showed stagnation.

The AEX ended up 0.8 percent at 758.49 points. Midcap gained 1.1 percent to 934.14 points. Shares in Frankfurt, Paris and London rose as much as 0.8 percent.

Unilever continued its upward trend with a gain of 0.6 percent. On Thursday, the food group had already gained 1.7 percent after well-received sales figures. Temporary employment group Randstad gained 2.4 percent and was top on the AEX. Chip giant Besi (minus 1 percent) quoted ex-dividend. This means that a share no longer carries the right to dividends from the previous period.

Chip machine maker ASML gained 1.7 percent. Investors reacted to Intel’s quarterly results. A major US chipmaker, an important customer of ASML, suffered losses last quarter due to declining demand for computer chips. Intel expects to recover in the second half of the year.

In Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz rose 0.7 percent. The German carmaker was able to generate higher profits last quarter mainly by selling more luxurious models.

The euro was at $1.1036 against $1.1024 the previous day. U.S. oil prices rose 2.6 percent to $76.71 a barrel. Brent crude was up 1.4 percent at $79.50 a barrel.

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