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European Stocks Mixed; German PPI Disappoints, Ericsson Slumps

Published 20/10/2022, 09:10
© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets traded in a mixed fashion Thursday, as investors digested quarterly corporate earnings amid continued political and economic uncertainty.

By 03:50 ET (07:50 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.7% lower, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped 0.1%, while CAC 40 in France edged 0.1% higher.

Data released earlier Thursday showed that German producer prices rose by a massive 45.8% on an annual basis in September, up 2.3% on the month, showing sustained inflationary pressure in the economic pipeline.

These numbers will increase the pressure on the European Central Bank to aggressively continue its monetary tightening policy, despite the obvious slowdown in the Eurozone economy.

The ECB is widely expected to raise interest rates by 75 basis points at its next meeting at the end of the month, adding to the total of 125 basis points of hikes already announced this year.

Political uncertainty continued in the U.K. after the abrupt resignation of Home Secretary Suella Braverman late Wednesday. 

In her resignation letter, Braverman criticized the leadership of new Prime Minister Liz Truss, further undermining her authority and adding to the doubt over the length of Truss’s tenure in charge.

In corporate news, Ericsson (ST:ERICb) stock slumped over 13% and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) stock dropped 5.5% after both Nordic telecom companies reported disappointing quarterly earnings with operating margins hit by rising costs.

On the flip side, Hermes (EPA:HRMS) stock rose 1.4% after the French luxury goods retailer reported a sharp rise in sales over the third quarter, and flagged plans to hike prices by 5% to 10% in 2023 on rising costs and currency fluctuations.

Nordea (HE:NDAFI) stock rose 1% after the Finnish banking group posted third-quarter operating earnings above expectations, helped by rising interest income, adding its outlook for the full year had improved.

Swedish Match (ST:SWMA) stock rose 1.5% after Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) raised its buyout offer for the tobacco company by 9%, just weeks before a deadline to get enough shareholder support for the deal.

Oil prices rose Thursday, boosted by an unexpected drop in U.S. crude stocks, suggesting consumption in the world’s largest economy remained steady despite pressure from rising inflation and interest rates.

U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 1.7 million barrels last week, according to data from the Energy Information Administration released Wednesday.

This news overshadowed plans by the Biden administration to release another 15 million barrels of oil from the country’s strategic reserves in an attempt to dampen high prices.

By 03:50 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.6% higher at $85.84 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.2% to $93.48. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,636.40/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 0.9780.

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