European stocks close higher as investors focus on earnings and economic data

(RTTNews) – European equities closed broadly higher on Thursday as investors engaged in some cross-border buying, shrugging off concerns over inflation and concerns over impending interest rate hikes.

Investors also digested a flurry of earnings announcements and economic data from the region, and watched for updates on tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index climbed 0.51%. Germany’s DAX gained 0.65% and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.3%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 edged down 0.06%. The Swiss SMI ended up 0.28%.

Among other European markets, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Sweden closed higher.

Austria, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Poland and Turkey ended lower, while Norway and Portugal closed.

In the UK market, Pearson, Scottish Mortgage, Aveva Group, Fresnillo, Prudential, Burberry Group, Polymetal International, Smith (DS), Rentokil Initial and ICP gained 2-3.5%. IAG, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, JD Sports Fashion, Whitbread, ABRDN, AstraZeneca, RightMove and Pershing Square Holdings also finished with strong gains.

Shares of Deliveroo Plc gained 3.5% after the online food delivery company said the gross transaction value (GTV) of orders on its platform rose 36% year-on-year in the fourth quarter.

Associated British Foods fell more than 4%. The company said around 400 jobs were being cut at the fashion chain’s UK stores as part of an overhaul of its retail management team.

Royal Mail lost around 3.7%. ITV, Natwest Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Royal Dutch Shell, Lloyds Banking Group, Glencore, Sainsbury (J) and Rio Tinto also ended sharply lower.

In the German market, HelloFresh rebounded 5.5%. Merck, RWE, Deutsche Boerse, Vonovia, Siemens Healthineers, Fresenius, SAP and E.ON gained 1-2.6%.

Puma rebounded 1.4% after posting record sales and profits that beat estimates.

Continental, Daimler, Covestro, BMW, Deutsche Bank, Infineon Technologies and BASF ended with strong to moderate losses.

In Paris, Veolia, Engie, Essilor, Vivendi, Sanofi, LVMH, Air Liquide and Schenider Electric gain 1 to 2%.

BNP Paribas and ArcelorMittal both fell nearly 2%. Unibail Rodamco and Bouygues also ended sharply lower. Soitec shares plunged 18.2% after the company announced that Atos chief executive Pierre Barnabe would succeed outgoing CEO Paul Boudre.

In the Swiss market, shares of Zur Rose rallied strongly on the back of strong quarterly results.

In economic news, euro zone inflation is estimated to have accelerated to a record high in December, according to final Eurostat data released on Thursday.

The consumer price index rose 5% year on year after rising 4.9% in November. This is the highest inflation on record and matches the preliminary estimate released on January 7.

Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices, held steady at 2.6% in December, as initially estimated. Compared to the previous month, consumer prices increased by 0.4% in December.

Producer prices in Germany have risen at the fastest pace since the series began in 1949, driven by rising energy prices, Destatis reported today, adding to inflationary concerns.

Producer prices rose 24.2% year-on-year in December, after rising 19.2% in November. It was the largest year-on-year increase since the survey began in 1949 and also beat economists’ forecasts of 19.4%.

On a monthly basis, producer price inflation reached 5%, compared to 0.8% in November. Economists were expecting a further rise in prices of 0.8%.

Confidence in the French manufacturing sector improved more than expected in January, according to the results of a survey by the statistical office Insee. The confidence index in the manufacturing sector fell from 110 in December to 112.0 in January. The score was expected to improve slightly to 111.0.

The survey showed that the Personal Production Expectations Index fell to 23 from 26 the previous month.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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