European stocks close higher amid flood of economic data and inflation concerns

European stocks ended the week higher as investors scrutinized a slew of economic data from the region while assessing the European Central Bank’s decision to scale back its asset purchase program faster than expected, but in leaving rates unchanged in a rising inflation environment.

The German DAX closed 1.4% higher, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.1% and the Swiss Market Index rose 0.9%. France’s CAC climbed 0.9% and the UK’s FTSE 100 gained 0.8%.

UK gross domestic product rose 0.8% month-on-month in January, following a 0.2% decline in December caused by the omicron variant of COVID-19 and restrictions, a said the Office for National Statistics. The latest reading, which topped the estimated growth of 0.2%, is now 0.8% above its pre-pandemic level.

Germany’s final consumer price index rose 5.1% year-on-year in February, confirming the flash estimate, compared with growth of 4.9% the previous month, the Federal Office said. statistics in a report. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index rose 0.9% in February, compared to a rise of 0.4% in January and in line with the flash estimate.

The European Commission has adopted two legislative proposals on the rules and procedures for implementing and enforcing the agreement with the withdrawal from the European Union with the United Kingdom, as well as on their trade and cooperation agreement.

On the corporate front, Italian defense group Leonardo (LDO.MI) rose more than 11% after saying it was aiming for revenue of 14.5 billion euros to 15 billion euros. euros (15.94 billion dollars to 16.49 billion dollars) for 2022, compared to 14.14 billion euros. one year earlier. The company has also suspended commercial civilian helicopter operations in Russia due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported, citing a message.

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