investors digest central bank decisions, earnings

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LONDON — European markets closed marginally higher on Friday as investors reacted to promising news on Pfizer’s Covid-19 pill and a strong U.S. jobs report.

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British Airways parent IAG, Germany’s Uniper and Spain’s Amadeus were among the European companies reporting earnings before the bell on Friday.

In other corporate news, UBS is set to ditch the rank of group managing director as CEO Ralph Hamers looks to streamline the Swiss lender’s management hierarchy.

On the data front, euro zone September retail sales posted a surprise drop, according to Eurostat data on Friday, sliding 0.3% month-on-month as weakness in Germany weighed on the bloc.

German industrial production also dropped unexpectedly in September, official data showed on Friday, falling by 1.1% month-on-month as output in Europe’s largest economy was hit by supply bottlenecks for materials. French industrial production also contracted by 1.3%.

In terms of individual share price movement, Swiss travel retailer Dufry jumped more than 9% after news of the success of Pfizer’s Covid-19 pill.

Telecom Italia shares jumped 4.8% after a report that private equity firm KKR is weighing up an investment in the company’s fixed line network assets.

Shares of British e-commerce firm THG climbed 3.8% after non-executive director Zillah Byng-Thorne purchased more than 32,000 of the company’s shares.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, Austrian engineering group Andritz fell 7.8% after its third-quarter earnings report.

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