Europe Markets

Europe ends on a high; IBEX up 1.3%; Hugo Boss tanks

Europe ends on a high; Hugo Boss tanks 11%

European stocks closed higher on Friday as investors digested a raft of corporate earnings and shook off concerns over China's economic slowdown.

The pan-European STOXX 600 provisionally ended 0.6 percent higher, with all main indexes closing in positive territory.

Europe finished the week on a high, bolstered by positive sentiment from other financial markets. In Asia, equities cruised higher by the close, as investors took bets on the possibility of further stimulus measures from Japan and China.

Around Europe's close, U.S. stocks were trading slightly higher, amid a slew of data and earnings releases and continued expectations of a delay in a Fed rate hike.

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Investors around the world are looking ahead to third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data from China on Monday. The data are expected to show a continued deterioration in the world's second largest economy. Economists believe growth in the July-September period fell below 7 percent from the same period last year.

Carrefour on a high

Earnings remained in focus on Friday. Europe's largest retailer, Carrefour, reported an acceleration in third-quarter sales thanks to strength in southern Europe. But like-for-like sales in China were down. Shares in the French firm soared, closing up 6.6 percent.

Swiss food giant Nestle cut its full-year outlook after being hit by a recall of its Maggi Noodles product in India and a rebate adjustment in its Skin Health division in the third quarter, sending shares to close 1.9 percent lower.

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto reported third quarter iron ore shipments up 17 percent and said it was on track to meet its full-year target of 340 million tonnes, however shares slipped by the close, down 0.8 percent. Other miners closed lower, including BHP Billiton and Antofagasta.

Hugo boss tanks 11%

Robert 'Bob' Dudley, chief executive officer of BP Plc.
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On the data front, European car sales rose 9.8 percent year-on-year in September helped by demand for German vehicles, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association. Despite this, the auto sector closed down 0.7 percent.

Oil prices had a choppy session as Friday's session drew to a close. Brent crude failed to reach $50 at the close, last standing at $49.81 while U.S. crude was at $46.68 a barrel. This volatility saw the oil and gas sector close mixed, with Tullow Oil down 1.6 percent, while Royal Dutch Shell and BP finished in positive territory.

French drinks maker Remy Cointreau reported a slowing decline in sales in the second quarter which fell 3.2 percent on an organic basis, after a 9 percent plunge in the first quarter. Remy Cointreau's stock ended down 2.4 percent.

Hugo Boss saw shares tank 11.1 percent after the German fashion house slashed its full-year earnings guidance, blaming weak sales in China in the third quarter. The news dragged many luxury brands down, with Swiss watchmakers Swatch and Richemont sharply lower.

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