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MarketPulse Europe: Weak Data Take Gloss off Post-Fed Rally

Stock MarketsJan 31, 2019 10:23
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Investing.com -- Home-grown troubles took the shine off Europe’s stock markets Thursday, capping gains across the board after the Federal Reserve signalled a pause to its cycle of interest rate hikes.

Markets opened higher, but turned down after an alarmingly weak German retail sales report for December, illustrating the slowdown in Europe’s biggest economy at the end of 2018. German jobless numbers also fell by less than expected in January – although there was a positive surprise in Italy, where the jobless rate fell for a second straight month to 10.3%.

Oil and gas stocks rose after Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) reported fourth-quarter earnings well above forecasts and started the next phase of its planned buyback program. That also pulled the U.K.’s BP (LON:BP) and France’s Total SA (PA:TOTF) higher. Drinks group Diageo (LON:DGE), the maker of Johnnie Walker and Tanqueray, also rose 4.3% after announcing a buyback program and a bigger-than-expected rise in revenue, driven by strong growth in sales of gin and tequila.

Elsewhere, the news was less rosy. Nokia (HE:NOKIA) fell over 5% after predicting a weak first half to 2019, even though it expected a stronger second half as orders for 5G networks start to pick up.

German payments company Wirecard AG (DE:WDIG), which overtook Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) in market value last year, rebounded only 1.5% after falling 13% on Wednesday on a Financial Times report that revived concerns about its accounting.

Consumer giant Unilever (LON:ULVR) also fell after its new CEO said revenue and margins this year would be at the bottom end of its target range. And retailer H&M (ST:HMb) fell 1.4% after figures showing that it’s still struggling with the online shopping revolution. Its shares have lost over half their value in the last two years under pressure from online rivals including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

MarketPulse Europe: Weak Data Take Gloss off Post-Fed Rally
 

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