LONDON, April 13 European shares fell on
Thursday, leaving an index of the continent's top companies set
for a weekly loss with banks the biggest drag.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.4
percent, setting it up for a loss of 0.2 percent over a
holiday-shortened four-day week, which would snap its two-week
The banking index was down 0.9 percent, at a
five-week low, set for its fifth straight day of losses as
investors globally fled risky assets. Spain's Banco
Popular led losses, down 3.5 percent.
Shares in Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget hit a
record high, up 5.6 percent after a Swedish paper said a group
of private equity companies bid around 200 billion Swedish
crowns ($22.3 billion) for the hygiene arm of the tissue and
forestry products firm, citing unnamed sources.
An increase in gold prices on rising geopolitical tensions
and U.S. President Donald Trump's comments on the dollar's
strength provided a boost to gold miner Centamin, up 5
Mediclinic rose 4.3 percent, the top FTSE 100
gainer after a full-year trading update which showed
2017 revenue increased 3.5 percent.
Shares in Britain's Royal Mail rose 1.8 percent
after saying it would close its defined benefit pension scheme
Czech bank Komercni Banka was the top faller after
going ex-dividend, along with Standard Life , Taylor
Wimpey and Reckitt Benckiser.
(Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Toby Chopra)