LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Thursday, leaving an index of the continent’s top companies set for a weekly loss with banks the biggest drag.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.4 percent, setting it up for a loss of 0.2 percent over a holiday-shortened four-day week, which would snap its two-week winning streak.
The banking index was down 0.9 percent, at a five-week low, set for its fifth straight day of losses as investors globally fled risky assets. Spain’s Banco Popular led losses, down 3.5 percent.
Shares in Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget hit a record high, up 5.6 percent after a Swedish paper said a group of private equity companies bid around 200 billion Swedish crowns ($22.3 billion) for the hygiene arm of the tissue and forestry products firm, citing unnamed sources.
An increase in gold prices on rising geopolitical tensions and U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments on the dollar’s strength provided a boost to gold miner Centamin, up 5 percent.
Mediclinic rose 4.3 percent, the top FTSE 100 gainer after a full-year trading update which showed 2017 revenue increased 3.5 percent.
Shares in Britain’s Royal Mail rose 1.8 percent after saying it would close its defined benefit pension scheme next year.
Czech bank Komercni Banka was the top faller after going ex-dividend, along with Standard Life , Taylor Wimpey and Reckitt Benckiser. (Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Toby Chopra)