European markets close mixed as investors assess China reopening, 2023 headwinds

LONDON — European markets closed mixed on Wednesday as investors continued to assess the prospect of China's reopening and the possible headwinds coming down the pike in 2023.

European markets

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index reversed initial gains to inch 0.1% below the flatline by the close, with technology shares slumping 0.9% while basic resources stocks rose 0.6%.

European stocks were buoyed earlier Tuesday after China officially announced that it will end quarantine for inbound travelers on Jan. 8 — symbolizing an end to the zero-Covid policy that it has held for nearly three years. Britain's FTSE 100 was closed for a public holiday on Tuesday and reopened Wednesday, finishing the session up 0.4%.

With three trading days left for the year, global stock markets have suffered a dismal 2022 as governments and central banks grappled with sky-high inflation arising from the fallout from Russia's war in Ukraine and persistent Covid-19 restrictions in China.

Markets are now wary of the prospect of an imminent recession and a potentially prolonged period of sluggish economic growth, with one economist telling CNBC on Tuesday that most major economies would be "lucky" to achieve 1% GDP growth per annum for much of the next decade.

Shares in Asia-Pacific mostly fell overnight after further losses on Wall Street Tuesday, with U.S. stock markets on track for their worst year since 2008. Stock futures stateside inched fractionally higher in early premarket trade on Wednesday.

Global economy is heading into a decade of low growth, economist says

Global economy is heading into a decade of low growth, economist says
Global economy is heading into a decade of low growth, economist says

Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis Gestion, says the global economy is heading into a decade of sluggish growth, but a Chinese reopening will be the biggest positive for 2023.

Here are the opening calls

Britain's FTSE 100 is set to gain around 28 points to 7,501, Germany's DAX is set to slip by around 7 points to 13,988 and France's CAC 40 is expected to open around 4 points lower at 6,547.

CNBC Pro: 'Never been so cheap': Fund manager explains why he loves shipping stocks right now

A cargo ship moves under the Bayonne Bridge as it heads into port in Bayonne, New Jersey.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

There are a host of reasons to consider investing in shipping companies, according to Pure Value Metrics' Richard-Mark Dodds, who said many of the stocks had attractive entry points.

Shares of European shipping firms AP Moeller Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd are down by more than 30% this year, while Asian carriers Cosco Shipping and Evergreen Marine have fallen further by more than 45%.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

CNBC Pro: The 'recession-resistant' cybersecurity stocks with more than 60% upside — according to analysts 

Businesses are responding to frequent and more sophisticated cyberattacks by increasing their spending on cybersecurity.

That's created opportunities for a handful of tech firms in that sector. So does that mean cybersecurity companies can sustain earnings through a recession?

Michael Loukas, chief executive of TrueMark Investments, certainly thinks some are "recession-resistant."

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about the three stocks that offer a 60% upside.

— Ganesh Rao