European stocks end lower amid major economic data and tensions in Ukraine

European stock markets closed the week lower after a slew of economic data from the region, including a contraction in the German economy in the fourth quarter, amid lingering tensions in Ukraine.

Germany’s DAX was down 1.3%, the UK’s FTSE 100 was down 1.2% and the Stoxx Europe 600 was down 1%. The French CAC fell 0.8% and the Swiss Market Index fell 0.6%.

The flash euro zone consumer confidence indicator fell to minus 8.5 points in January from minus 8.4 in December, the European Commission said. The latest reading, which was in line with the flash estimate, reflects consumers’ pessimistic expectations about their future financial situation as well as the general economic situation.

Germany’s preliminary gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2021 fell 0.7% after a 1.7% expansion in the previous quarter, the country’s Federal Statistical Office said. The latest reading missed the consensus estimate of a 0.3% contraction.

France’s gross domestic product rose 0.7% in the quarter to December, following a revised 3.1% expansion in the previous quarter, according to the flash estimate from national statistics agency Insee. The latest quarterly figure topped the estimated growth of 0.5% and was 0.9% higher than the fourth quarter of 2019.

Spain’s fourth-quarter instant gross domestic product rose 5.2% year-on-year after rising 3.4% in the third quarter, the National Statistics Institute said. On a quarterly basis, flash GDP increased by 2% in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter. The latest readings topped the estimated 4.5% annual increase and 1.4% quarterly gain.

On the corporate front, Henkel (HEN.F, HEN3.F) fell 11% even after early 2021 results rose year-over-year on double-digit growth in sales of its adhesive technologies division. Sales for the year totaled €20.07 billion ($22.35 billion), representing organic sales growth of 7.8%, and adjusted EPS jumped 9.2% over the year at 4.56 euros.

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