European markets close lower as momentum fades; UK inflation soars

The Oxford Circus crossing at sunset.
Loop Images | UIG | Getty Images

European markets pulled back on Wednesday after a rally on Wall Street, having struggled to build positive momentum so far this week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed 1% lower, having given up earlier gains. Retail stocks led the losses, down over 2.6%, while food and beverages stocks bucked the trend to close up around 0.5%.

European markets

On Wednesday, investors were tracking preliminary gross domestic product data from the euro zone for the second quarter, as well as unemployment figures for the single currency bloc, and the latest U.K. inflation figures for July.

New OPEC Sec Gen says oil producer group not to blame for soaring inflation

OPEC not to blame for soaring inflation, new secretary general says
OPEC not to blame for soaring inflation, new secretary general says

New OPEC Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais rejected suggestions that the influential energy alliance should shoulder the blame for soaring prices, instead pointing the finger at chronic underinvestment in the oil and gas industry.

"OPEC is not behind this price increase," Al Ghais told CNBC's Hadley Gamble.

"There are other factors beyond OPEC that are really behind the spike we have seen in gas [and] in oil. And again, I think in a nutshell, for me, it is underinvestment — chronic underinvestment," he added.

Read the full story here.

— Sam Meredith

Treasury yields rise as markets await Fed meeting minutes

U.S. Treasury yields rose Wednesday on weaker demand for fixed income assets as investors await the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes from its July meeting.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose just over 4 basis points to 2.865%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond traded up 2 basis points to 3.135%. The yield on the shorter-term 2-year Treasury note was up about 4 basis points at 3.297%. Yields move inversely to prices, and a basis point is equal to 0.01%.

The rise in yields is a change from the dip seen at the start of the week amid a weak U.S. East Coast manufacturing survey and reports of slowing growth in China.

Read the full bond report here.

— Natasha Turak

Euro zone economic growth revised down

Economic growth in the euro zone for the second quarter was revised down on Wednesday from 0.7% to 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, and from 4% to 3.9% annually.

Eurostat also revealed that employment across the 19-member common currency bloc rose 0.3% quarterly, for a 2.4% year-on-year increase.

Strategist explains what's driving Europe and U.S. market divergence

Geographical difference in rate cycles is a key factor behind market divergence, strategist says
Geographical difference in rate cycles a factor in market divergence: Strategist

Charlie Morris, founder of ByteTree Asset Management, discusses the disconnect in markets as Europe fails to follow Wall Street's stock market rally.

UK Gilt yields surge after red hot inflation print

British 2-year Gilt yields surged on Wednesday morning after the red hot July U.K. inflation print, adding more than 29 basis points to reach 2.441%, their highest point since November 2008.

The yield on the 10-year Gilt rose by more than 11 basis points and the 5-year yield climbed 16 basis points.

- Elliot Smith

Tecan Group shares up 10%, Uniper down 9% after earnings

Tecan Group shares were up 10% by early afternoon to lead the Stoxx 600 after the Swiss laboratory instrument company beat first-half earnings expectations and raised its full-year sales outlook.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, German utility Uniper fell more than 9% after posting a net loss of 12.3 billion euros ($12.5 billion) for the first half, as reduced Russian gas supplies drove up costs. Uniper secured a 15 billion euro bailout from the German government last month.

- Elliot Smith

UK inflation hits new 40-year high of 10.1% as food and energy price surge continues

U.K. inflation rose to another 40-year high in July as spiraling food and energy prices continued to intensify the country's historic squeeze on households.

The consumer price index rose 10.1% annually, according to estimates published by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday, above a Reuters consensus forecast of 9.8% and up from 9.4% in June.

Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, came in at 6.2% in the year to July 2022, rising from 5.8% in June and ahead of projections of 5.9%.

Rising food prices made the largest upward contribution to annual inflation rates between June and July, the ONS said in its report.

- Elliot Smith

CNBC Pro: Have markets hit the bottom? Strategist reveals the indicators to watch

Strategist picks 'quality' stocks as market volatility persists
Strategist picks 'quality' stocks as market volatility persists

A strong rebound in U.S. equities has sparked hope that the market has bottomed. But is the bear market truly behind us now?

Strategist Victoria Fernandez weighed in, and revealed the key indicators she is watching.

Pro subscribers can read the story here.

— Zavier Ong

CNBC Pro: Is 'super cheap' Meta a buy? Here's what tech investor Paul Meeks says

CNBC PRO Talks: Fund manager Paul Meeks on what’s next for the tech sector
CNBC PRO Talks: Fund manager Paul Meeks on what’s next for the tech sector

Meta, like most tech stocks, has fallen sharply this year, and now investors might be wondering whether it's time to buy the dip.

Paul Meeks, portfolio manager at Independent Solutions Wealth Management, explains whether he thinks investors should buy or skip this stock, and why.

Pro subscribers can read the story here.

— Weizhen Tan

Sign up for CNBC's newsletter here: