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European shares recover on soft UK inflation data, upbeat earnings

Published 14/02/2024, 08:30
Updated 14/02/2024, 17:09
© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 13, 2024.     REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

By Shubham Batra and Amruta Khandekar

(Reuters) -European shares regained ground on Wednesday as a softer-than-expected UK inflation report boosted hopes of imminent interest rate cuts by the Bank of England, with a raft of upbeat corporate earnings giving an additional lift.

The pan-European STOXX 600 ended up 0.5% following a 1% drop in the previous session.

The UK's FTSE 100 advanced 0.8% after data showed domestic inflation unexpectedly held steady in January, defying forecasts of a rise.

"On the one hand, the UK economy is fragile, and the labour market has loosened materially over the last year. These are all reasons to cut rates," said Michael Field, European market strategist at Morningstar.

Equity markets across the world steadied after a selloff following Tuesday's hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation reading, which pushed back rate-cut expectations from the Federal Reserve.

"Global equities are very much in a 'buy the dip' mindset, so when it was clear that there seems to be some limit to the selling in U.S. stocks and bonds, we saw European markets recover," said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers.

Meanwhile, European Central Bank Vice-President Luis de Guindos said more data is needed before the ECB can be comfortable that record-high rates have done their job.

Data showed euro zone economic growth was flat in the last three months of 2023 against the previous quarter.

Among sectors, the aerospace and defense index touched a record high, closing up 1.2%.

Tech shares rebounded from the prior session's steep losses with an advance of 1.0%, while miners slipped 0.5%, hitting a near four-month low.

Delivery Hero soared 19.6% in its strongest session since December 2019 after the group said it expects its organic cash flow generation to be more than sufficient to settle convertible bond and debt maturities in the coming years.

Shares of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) HBC climbed 8.0% as the Switzerland-based bottler reported a record annual profit, while Capgemini advanced 6.9% after the French IT consulting group posted better than expected quarterly revenue.

Keeping a lid on gains, Thyssenkrupp (ETR:TKAG) dropped 10.5% after cutting its annual sales and net profit forecast.

© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 13, 2024.     REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

Heineken slipped 6.4% as the Dutch brewer said 2024 profit could fall significantly below analyst estimates. The stock's move pushed the food and beverage index 0.5% lower.

Shares of TUI (LON:TUIT) fell 6.8% after shareholders of Europe's biggest travel agent voted to move its listing to Frankfurt.

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