Markets

European stocks end the week higher despite inflation worries; Richemont up 10%

Key Points
  • The Stoxx 600 closed up by 0.3% provisionally, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory. The pan-European benchmark was up 0.8% on the week.
  • AstraZeneca, Richemont, Deutsche Wohnen and Deutsche Telekom were among the companies reporting earnings Friday morning.
  • Historic inflation surges in the U.S. and China have weighed on global sentiment this week, but European stocks still managed to eke out gains.

LONDON — European stocks finished the week higher Friday as global investors assessed recent high inflation prints and corporate earnings.

The Stoxx 600 closed up by 0.3% provisionally, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory. The pan-European benchmark was up 0.8% on the week.

In terms of sectors, household goods led the gains Friday, up 1.9%, while oil and gas stocks were the worst performers, down 0.9%,

Historic inflation surges in the U.S. and China have weighed on global sentiment this week, but European markets still managed to eke out gains.

A Reuters poll of economists on Thursday indicated that euro zone inflation expectations are also at risk of continuing to overshoot the European Central Bank's 2% target in 2022. Euro zone inflation topped 4% last month but the ECB has broken from other major central banks by resisting calls for a tightening of monetary policy.

However, ECB policymaker Gediminas Simkus told a conference on Friday that inflation would return to target in 2023, Reuters reported.

On Wall Street, stocks traded modestly higher but were on pace to snap a five-week winning streak. In Asia, stocks closed higher following gains for U.S. tech stocks in Thursday's session.

Corporate earnings have also been a key driver of individual share price action throughout the week, and continuing Friday with AstraZeneca, Richemont, Deutsche Wohnen and Deutsche Telekom among those reporting before the bell.

Richemont shares climbed 10.8% after the Swiss luxury goods company posted strong earnings and revealed talks with online fashion retailer Farfetch in a bid to convert its loss-making Yoox-Net-a-Porter (YNAP) into a neutral industry platform.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, AstraZeneca shares slumped 6.9% after the British pharmaceutical company's third-quarter earnings fell short of expectations.

In other corporate news, Daimler announced Thursday that its truck business will be spun off on Dec. 10 as the German automaker looks cut costs and bump up profit margins to double figures by 2025.

Euro zone industrial production dipped by less than expected in September, data showed on Friday, falling 0.2% month-on-month for a 5.2% annual increase.

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