European markets closed lower on Wednesday as political instability gripped the region after a missile hit Polish territory, raising tensions between Russia and NATO.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed down 1%, with retail and autos both shedding 3.5% to lead losses. The food and beverages and insurance sectors posted 0.2% gains.
Ukraine experienced a wave of missile strikes across the country on Wednesday and in the evening Poland said a Russian-made missile had struck Polish territory, killing two people. Moscow denied responsibility for the strike. President Andrzej Duda described it as "an isolated incident," adding an investigation is underway.
European stocks close lower amid geopolitical fears
European stocks ended the day 1% lower after a missile strike hit a Polish village, increasing geopolitical tensions as G-20 leaders met in Indonesia.
Autos and retail stocks gave up the most ground, both falling around 3.5%.
— Jenni Reid
Autos slide after Mercedes price cut
The autos sector posted the biggest losses in afternoon trading after Mercedes-Benz said it had cut prices on some of its electric models in China.
— Jenni Reid
Stocks slide at the open
U.S. equities opened lower on Wednesday as the Target warning weighed on retail names.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped by 46 points to start the day. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.9%.
— Tanaya Macheel
Stocks on the move: Sage Group up 6%, Mercedes-Benz down 6%
Sage Group shares climbed more than 6% by mid-afternoon trade after the British software company reported an 8% rise in annual organic operating profit.
Mercedes-Benz fell 6.9% to lead broad declines for the European automotive sector after the German luxury manufacturer cut prices on some of its electric models in China, citing changing market demand.
- Elliot Smith
Inflation has 'probably' peaked, fund manager says
After U.S. wholesale and consumer inflation came in softer than expected over the past week, we may have seen price increases peak, according to Dan Avigad, partner and portfolio manager at Lansdowne Partners.
"Inflation has peaked, probably, and is going to most likely start to come down. I think the real question is the timing of that versus the slowdown in the real economy and the impact of those two countervailing forces on equity markets over the next six months," Avigad told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche at the Sohn London Investment Conference on Wednesday.
"There is an argument that if equity markets and bond markets rally very aggressively, it amounts to an easing of financial conditions too early in the cycle for what central banks want to see."
- Elliot Smith
Stocks on the move: Billerud down 6%, Saab up 5%
Shares of Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer Billerud fell more than 6% in early trade to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after Jefferies cut its rating of the stock to "underperform" from "hold."
At the top of the index, compatriot aerospace and defense company Saab climbed 5%.
- Elliot Smith
UK inflation hits 41-year high of 11.1% as food and energy prices continue to soar
U.K. inflation jumped to a 41-year high of 11.1% in October, exceeding expectations as food, transport and energy prices continued to squeeze households and businesses.
"Indicative modelled consumer price inflation estimates suggest that the CPI rate would have last been higher in October 1981, where the estimate for the annual inflation rate was 11.2%," the Office for National Statistics said.
On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 2% in October, matching the annual CPI inflation rate between July 2020 and 2021.
- Elliot Smith
Biden says it's 'unlikely' the missile that killed two people in Poland was fired from Russia
U.S. President Joe Biden said it's "unlikely" a missile that killed two people in Poland was fired from Russia, citing the trajectory of the rocket.
Asked by a reporter if the missile was fired from Russia, Biden said: "There is preliminary information that contests that, I don't want to say that until we completely investigate."
He went on to say: "It's unlikely... in the minds of the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia. But, we'll see."
Biden reiterated that the leaders of the Group of 7 agreed to support an ongoing investigation into the explosion.
"We agreed to support Poland's investigation into the explosion in rural Poland near the Ukrainian border. And I'm going to make sure we figure out exactly what happened," he told reporters on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
World Bank says Russia is 'wrecking their own future' through Ukraine war
World Bank President David Malpass said Russia is hurting its own future by continuing a war on Ukraine.
"It weakens Russia, it makes them outcasts and it really is wrecking their own future," he said. "I'm hurt by what Russia is doing to itself, to its own people."
When asked about the latest developments of a Russian-made missile killing Polish citizens, Malpass said: "I don't want to speculate about the missiles, but as far as the G-20 [goes], there's been unity, broad unity of G-20 countries against war."
CNBC Pro: Analysts think these EV-related stocks in the lithium supply chain could be winners
Goldman Sachs says the peak in battery metal prices is approaching.
Given this outlook, CNBC Pro screened the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF for stocks related to electric vehicle makers that could offer opportunities for investors.
These stocks are expected to post full-year growth in 2023, are buy rated by the majority of analysts covering them, and have average potential upside of at least 20% over the next 12 months.
— Zavier Ong
CNBC Pro: These biotech stocks look cheap — and analysts give 2 more than 100% upside
Fundstrat said some biotechnology stocks are worth following and that the sub-sector is currently the strongest within the health industry.
Mark Newton, head of technical strategy at research firm Fundstrat, said the sector is "a key part of the reason why Healthcare likely shows strong 4Q [fourth quarter] outperformance," according to a Nov. 14 note.
To identify biotech stocks that look cheap and are expected to rally looking ahead, CNBC Pro screened the iShares Biotechnology ETF on FactSet. Here are 8:
— Weizhen Tan
CNBC Pro: The Fed 'pivot' is dead, says strategist, who shares where to invest right now
Fidelity says the notion that a pivot from the Federal Reserve's hawkish stance will benefit equities is "dead."
Salman Ahmed, global head of macro and strategic asset allocation at the investment management firm, said he is concerned about short-term stock performance and suggests investor consider a different asset class instead.
— Ganesh Rao
European markets: Here are the opening calls
European markets are heading for a higher open Thursday, building on positive momentum seen in the previous trading session.
Markets have been buoyed by data this week showing improved business sentiment in Germany and an uptick in eurozone services and manufacturing activity.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 20 points higher at 7,760, Germany's DAX 80 points higher at 15,158, France's CAC up 32 points at 7,075 and Italy's FTSE MIB 94 points higher at 26,053, according to data from IG.
Earnings come from LVMH, STMicro, Diageo, Superdry and Banco Sabadell. Italian consumer confidence data for January will also be released.
— Holly Ellyatt