European stock markets mostly rise

European stock markets were mostly higher in trading Friday after a weak opening as traders headed into the weekend faced with more poor Chinese data.

The data weighed on the mining sector but this was offset by news of heavy job cuts from Anglo American, with investors cheering the cost cutting measures.

There was support also from news that although eurozone private sector business activity slowed in July, it was holding up much better than expected against an aggravation of the Greek debt crisis.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.22 percent to stand at 6,669.68 points approaching midday in the capital.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 edged up 0.04 percent to 11,517.18 points and the CAC 40 in Paris won 0.44 percent to 5,109.34 compared with Thursday's close.

The Madrid IBEX 35 was however down 0.29 percent at 11,408.40 points.

In foreign exchange, the euro fell to $1.0947 from $1.0985 late in New York on Thursday.

"Equity markets are positive... despite a weak start, as traders assume China's PMI manufacturing miss will simply mean more policy stimulus from Beijing to keep the economic growth ball in the air," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

Asian stock markets mostly fell Friday following more downbeat Chinese data and another sell-off on Wall Street while the dollar edged up ahead of an expected US interest rate rise.

Gold prices extended losses as commodity prices are hurt by the stronger dollar but oil recovered slightly from Thursday's dips, although a global supply glut is expected to keep a lid on any strong gains.

Selling was increased by news that a closely watched gauge of Chinese manufacturing activity had tumbled in July, adding to concerns about the mainland economy.

"The issue of falling commodities has replaced Greece and Chinese equity volatility as the centrepiece of the capital markets," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at traders IG.

Europe's main markets closed mixed Thursday amid subdued trading over lingering concern about Athens finalising a bailout deal with creditors, despite Greece's Syriza-dominated parliament having voted through the second of two sets of tough reform packages earlier in the day.

On Friday, the so-called "troika" of Greek creditors -- the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank -- arrived in Athens to begin negotiating the complex and contested details of a third bailout to Greece worth up to 86 billion euros.

In company news, Anglo American reported heavy first half losses and announced staff numbers would drop by 6,000, with the global mining firm hit by the weakness of iron ore prices.

Its share price jumped 2.22 percent to 824.30 pence.

Shares in Lonmin though slumped 13.91 percent to 65 pence after the world's third largest platinum producer said it was set to cut 6,000 jobs in South Africa owing to falling prices and high costs, dealing another blow to the country's fragile economy.

burs-bcp/rl

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