Second quarter begins; Russia-Ukraine in focus

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LONDON β€” European markets nudged higher to start the second quarter on Friday, with talks between Russia and Ukraine continuing to guide investor sentiment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.4% in early trade, with banks and retail climbing 1.3% to lead gains while oil and gas stocks slid 0.4%.

In terms of individual share price movement, British advertising company S4 Capital climbed 6.6% to lead the Stoxx 600, recovering from Thursday’s losses after pulling its quarterly results due to an auditing delay.

At the bottom of the index, Swedish real estate developer SBB fell 7.7%.

European stocks are coming off their first losing quarter in two years after closing Thursday’s session down 6.3% since the start of the year.

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine have yielded little fruit thus far, with Kyiv and its Western allies remaining skeptical of Moscow’s intentions and the legitimacy of its commitment to partial military pullbacks in northern…

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