By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - European stock markets traded in a mixed fashion Friday, ending the week on a cautious note as the Ukraine war rages on and energy prices remain elevated.
The war in Ukraine, sparked by the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, has already killed thousands of people and driven around 3.6 million abroad, according to data from the United Nations.
Western leaders denounced Moscow's invasion as barbaric after talks in Brussels on Thursday, with the U.K. and U.S. detailing more sanctions against Russia.
U.S. President Joe Biden called for Russia’s removal from the G-20 group of major economies ahead of traveling to a town near the Polish-Ukrainian border later Friday, in a bid to signal Western unity.
Anglo American (LON: AAL ) stock rose 0.2% after the mining giant announced the sale of its remaining shareholding in Thungela Resources, completing its exit from the South African coal business.
Volkswagen (DE: VOWG_p ) stock fell 0.7% after the German car giant announced the delay of the launch of its ID.5 electric car by a month to the first week of May because of disruptions in the supply of wire harnesses from Ukraine.
Elsewhere, British retail sales surprisingly dropped 0.3% on the month in February, registering annual growth of 7.0%, as surging fuel prices hit household budgets.
The German Ifo business climate index fell to 90.8 in March, from a revised 98.5 last month, as the war in Ukraine and surging energy prices weigh on confidence in the Eurozone’s largest economy.
Oil prices weakened Friday after the European Union and United States unveiled a deal to supply Europe with more U.S. liquefied natural gas , as leaders of the major European countries attempt to curb their reliance on Russia for their energy needs.
Additionally, the United States and its allies were said to be discussing a possible further coordinated release of oil from storage.
By 5:10 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 2.3% lower at $109.75 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 2.1% to $116.52. Both contracts were still on course for their first weekly gains in three weeks, with Brent around 10% higher and WTI up 7%.
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