European stocks swung between small gains and losses on Friday afternoon as traders weighed up a brewing political crisis in Spain against better-than-expected sentiment data from Germany and measured comments from North Korea that calmed nerves about geopolitical tensions.
What are markets doing?
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index SXXP, -0.09% fell 0.2% to 389.97, after trading as high as 392.91 earlier in the session. For the week, the index was on track for a 1.2% loss. A decline this week would break the benchmark’s eight-week winning run, which marked its longest win streak since June 2014.
Spanish stocks were under pressure, with the IBEX 35 index IBEX, -2.21% down 2.5% at 9,748.10 on reports the opposition Socialist party called for a vote of no confidence on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Italy’s FTSE MIB index I945, -2.15% lost 2.1% to 22,273.10 and headed for a 5% loss for the week. The index has been on a roller coaster rise this week after the populist coalition of the 5 Star Movement and League on Monday presented their prime minister candidate to President Sergio Mattarella.
What is driving markets?
Stocks headed lower in the afternoon as attention turned to Spain where the country’s main opposition party called for a vote of no confidence on Prime Minister Rajoy over a corruption case that ended in convictions for a former party treasurer and other senior members of the party.