European stocks close higher after US payrolls data; Ferrari up 7%

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally more than half a percent higher with the majority of sectors and major bourses edging higher. Media stocks were among the best performers, with Pearson leading the gains in the sector. The educational publisher said in a trading update that it was on track to grow to underlying profit this year. The stock shot up by more than 7.6 percent.

Looking at the European benchmark, Ferrari led the gains and its share price hit a record high, after better-than-expected earnings led to a number of ratings upgrades for the automaker. The stock was up 7.7 percent.

It was a tough trading day for French banks, however, after reporting their latest figures. Societe Generale sank to the bottom of the European benchmark, down by 5 percent. Net banking income stood at 6.294 billion euros for its first quarter of 2018 — a drop of 2.5 percent from a year ago. This was due to a weaker performance in its domestic retail activity, as well as lower revenues in its global banking and investor solutions division.

BNP Paribas was off by more than 1 percent. It reported a 17 percent fall in net income during the first quarter of the year, highlighting “lackluster” trading activity in Europe.

U.S. authorities accused former Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn of conspiring to cover up the German automaker’s diesel emissions cheating, Reuters reported.

In Italy, Telecom Italia shareholders voted to form a new board; Elliott Management won the vote, securing two-thirds of seats on the board.

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