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European Markets Lower, Trims Advances for the Week

European Markets Lower, Trims Advances for the Week

European stocks were lower in early trade, reducing their weekly gain, as commodity companies followed drops in oil and metal prices. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down 0.4 percent.

Miners retreated for the second day, after hitting their highest level since 2014. Banks and automakers also fell. The pan-European benchmark declined on Thursday for the first time in eight sessions, breaking its longest rally in 19 months. The sentiment of analysts have mostly been upbeat about European equities after the Stoxx 600 posted its highest close since December 2015 in the week.

Allianz SE advanced 2.8 percent after the Europe's biggest insurance company proposed spending three billion euros on purchasing back its own shares after reporting a higher than expected profit growth. Shares of Royal Vopak NV plunged nine percent, the biggest decliner of the Stoxx 600, following its announcement that this year's earnings will not surpass 2016's figures.

Volkswagen AG led losses in automakers, off by 2.3 percent after global sales of its own brand vehicles declined in January. Stoxx 600 banks are on track for the fifth consecutive monthly gain, which will be the longest winning streak in three years.
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