European stocks close lower on weak economic data

(RTTNews) – European stocks closed lower on Friday as rising eurozone inflation and disappointing US employment data weighed on sentiment.

Data showing a decline in German industrial production and lingering concerns about the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus are also hurting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 lost 0.39%. The German DAX lost 0.65% and the French CAC 40 lost 0.42%. The UK FTSE 100 gained 0.47%, while the Swiss SMI rose 0.04%.

Among other European markets, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Turkey closed higher. Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Spain and Sweden finished weak, while Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Iceland, Poland and Portugal remained flat.

In the UK market, Anglo American Plc, BHP Group, Prudential, Rio Tinto, Legal & General Group, Barclays, BP, Standard Chartered and Antofagasta gained 2-3%.

Diageo, B&M European Value Retail, Spirax-Sarco Engineering, Aveva Group and Dechra Pharmaceuticals lose 2-3%.

In Paris, Hermes International fell by almost 4%. Pernod Ricard, Capgemini, Essilor and Dassault Systems lose 2 to 3.1%.

Schneider Electric, LVMH, Sodexo, Airbus and Unibail Rodamco sell 1% to 1.6%.

STMicroElectronics gained 3.5% after posting strong fourth quarter sales. ArcelorMittal and Veolia also ended up sharply. Crédit Agricole and Société Générale also closed sharply higher.

In the German market, HelloFresh, Puma, Vonovia, Linde, Adidas, Linde, Daimler, Porsche Automobil, Deutsche Wohnen and Siemens fell sharply.

Deutsche Bank gained around 1.7% after the company’s chief financial officer said he was confident of hitting a key profitability target this year.

Infineon Technologies, Henkel and Covestro posted strong gains.

In virus news, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insisted that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is killing people across the world and should not be viewed as benign.

In economic publications, euro area inflation accelerated further in December to a new record, increasing 5% year-on-year after rising 4.9% in November. Economists expected the figure to decline to 4.7%.

Eurozone economic sentiment weakened more than expected to a seven-month low as the Omicron variant weighed on services activity towards the end of the year, results showed on Friday. monthly survey by the European Commission.

The economic confidence index fell to 115.3 in December from 117.6 in November. The reading is expected to drop moderately to 116.0 and is at its lowest level since May.

Eurozone retail sales grew at the fastest pace in five months in November, according to Eurostat data. Retail sales unexpectedly rose 1% month-on-month, following the 0.3% increase in October.

German industrial production fell 0.2% month-on-month in November, reversing a 2.4% increase in October, Destatis said. Economists were forecasting an increase in production of 1%. On an annual basis, industrial production fell 2.4% after falling 0.9% the month before.

Another Destatis report showed that Germany’s exports grew 1.7% on a monthly basis in November, slower than the 4.2% increase seen in October. Import growth slowed to 3.3% from 5.2% the previous month.

The trade surplus fell to 10.9 billion euros seasonally adjusted, from 12.4 billion euros a month ago. The surplus was well below the expected level of 12.8 billion euros.

French industrial production fell unexpectedly in November, according to data from the Insee statistical office. Industrial production fell 0.4% in November compared with October, when it was up 0.9%.

Likewise, manufacturing output fell 0.6%, unlike the 1.1% increase in the previous month.

UK house price inflation accelerated sharply in late 2021, but the pace is expected to slow this year amid expectations of further interest rate hikes and mounting pressures on household budgets, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Lloyds Bank Halifax branch and IHS Markit.

The house price index rose 9.8% year on year after rising 8.2% in November. The latest house price inflation figure was the highest since July 2007.

In Switzerland, seasonally adjusted retail sales rose 1.3% in November on a monthly basis, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office.

Data from the Department of Labor showed that non-farm payroll employment increased by 199,000 jobs in December after climbing by 249,000 revised upward jobs in November. Economists expected employment to jump 400,000 from the 210,000 addition initially reported for the previous month.

Despite weaker-than-expected job growth, the unemployment rate slipped to 3.9% in December from 4.2% in November. The unemployment rate is expected to decline to 4.1%.

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