Markets

European markets close higher, led by tech shares; Stoxx 600 notches weekly gain

Key Points
  • Thursday marked the end of the World Economic Forum, where business leaders, financiers and politicians offered some ominous predictions for the European economy.
  • Russia's Defense Ministry claimed overnight that it will allow foreign ships to leave ports on the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, amid mounting concerns about rising global food prices.

LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Friday, scoring a positive week as fears over monetary policy tightening subsided slightly.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up by 1.5%, with tech stocks adding 3.2% to lead gains as most sectors and major bourses entered positive territory.

Looking at individual stocks, Richemont climbed nearly 10% to the top of the Stoxx 600. The Swiss luxury goods maker last week saw shares drop sharply after its full-year results.

At the opposite end of the benchmark, U.K. chemicals firm Johnson Matthey sank almost 7% after agreeing to sell most of its battery material division to Australia's EV Metals.

Markets in Europe closed higher Thursday, receiving a boost after British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced a range of measures to tackle the country's cost-of-living crisis, including a so-called "windfall tax" on the profits of oil and gas giants.

Thursday also marked the end of the World Economic Forum, where the world's leading financiers, politicians and business gathered in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss the issues the global economy faces. Some bleak predictions were offered, particularly for Europe, which many economists see as vulnerable to recession.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks rose with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track to snap an eight-day losing streak.

Fresh data showed the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge easing slightly in April. The core personal consumption expenditures price index rose 4.9%, down from 5.2% a month earlier.

Markets also remain attuned to the conflict in Ukraine, with a U.S. official saying Russia is making "incremental progress" in the Donbas region.

Russia's Defense Ministry claimed overnight that it will allow foreign ships to leave ports on the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, according to state news agency Interfax, amid mounting concerns about rising global food prices.

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