European shares pause after rally; French stocks at record high

FILE PHOTO: A stock market operator Euronext’s universal analyst works in the market services surveillance room center at the new Euronext headquarters at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reuters) – An index of European equities was little changed on Friday after all-time highs in the last few sessions, as fading concerns around global monetary policy tightening were offset by losses in energy and material stocks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose for the seventh-straight session, up 0.05% as of 0815 GMT.

Europe’s basic materials sector slipped 0.2% on worries about Chinese regulations on coking coal, while oil stocks slumped 0.9%.

The STOXX 600 notched new highs for the last four sessions helped by strong corporate earnings, and as major central banks globally refrained from hawkish surprises. The index is on track for gains of about 1.6% this week, its fifth straight week of gains.

France’s benchmark CAC 40 index breached the 7,000 points barrier for the first time ever, and was up 0.4%.

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