European markets close slightly higher after U.S. GDP beat expectations

This is CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

European markets closed marginally higher Friday after U.S. economic data came in stronger than expected and with a slew of rate hike decisions due next week.

European markets

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.3% higher. Autos gained 1.1% as mining and food and beverage stocks fell 0.6%.

Investors are processing a mixed performance from corporate earnings released this week, with the start-of-year rally stuttering.

Friday saw the release of French consumer data for January, which showed current household confidence and unemployment worries stayed stable but reported living standards and future expectations declined.

It will also see the publication of U.S. data on core inflation, personal income and spending and pending home sales. The U.S. economy expanded by 2.9% year on year during the fourth quarter, beating expectations, though recession fears remain.

Earlier in the week, the German government as well as research group Ifo said Europe's largest economy would likely avoid a recession this year.

All earnings and economic data will be closely watched, with central banks due to take the spotlight next week. The Federal Reserve meets Tuesday to Wednesday, while the European Central Bank and Bank of England will announce their hiking decisions Thursday.

In Asia, shares traded higher Friday, while U.S. futures fell slightly on Friday morning.

Palladium falls 3%

The price of palladium fell more than 3% to hit $1,614.37 per ounce at 3.40 p.m. London time.

Palladium prices soared in 2022 after Russia, the metal's biggest exporter, invaded Ukraine. The global economic slowdown has since driven down palladium prices.

Palladium, gold and silver prices all slipped Thursday as U.S. economic data suggested the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates higher for longer.

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Chart to show the price of palladium.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Swedish Husqvarna shares pop 16% after Bosch announces stake increase

Shares of Swedish power tool company Husqvarna increased by as much as 16% after Germany's Bosch announced it would increase its stake in the manufacturer.

The German appliances company will increase its shareholding in Husqvarna from less than 5% to roughly 12%, as reported by Reuters.

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Chart to show the change in share price of Swedish manufacturer Husqvarna.

"There are currently no plans for a full takeover," a Bosch spokesperson said, and no details were revealed as to the cost of the stake.

Husqvarna's gains deflated slightly as the afternoon went on, sitting at 11.4% around 2.45 p.m. London time.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Risk of U.S. debt ceiling to markets is being underplayed, capital advisor says

Risk of U.S. debt ceiling to markets is being underplayed, capital advisor says
Risk of U.S. debt ceiling to markets is being underplayed, capital advisor says

Sunaina Sinha Haldea, global head of private capital advisory at Raymond James, discusses what political wrangling over the U.S. debt ceiling and risk of default could mean for markets.

Wise accused of harming competition 

The Wise logo displayed on a smartphone screen.
Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

Wise shares dipped 2% on Friday after the currency exchange giant was accused by rival fintech startup Atlantic Money of undermining competition in the money transfer market.

In a letter to the Competition and Markets Authority, Atlantic Money said Wise unfairly removed it from the price comparison section of its website and refused to include it on a foreign exchange fee comparison site Wise also owns, called Exiap.

Atlantic Money said it believed Wise's conduct was "harmful to competition across the UK and EU and, we would submit, ultimately results in higher fees for end consumers." The letter could be a precursor to a formal investigation as to whether Wise is in breach of competition law.

"We decided to remove Atlantic Money for the time being for a number of operational reasons, including queries received from customers about their business. We take compliance with all applicable laws very seriously," a Wise spokesperson told CNBC via email.

- Ryan Browne

British finance minister sticks to tax-hiking plans, pledges post-Brexit reforms

British Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt on Friday signaled he is pushing ahead with tax hikes, while stressing the need to develop Brexit into a "catalyst" for U.K growth.

"The best tax cut right now is a cut in inflation," Hunt said in a speech addressed to tech giants, including Amazon, Google and Meta, as he looks to dispel economic "gloom" in the U.K.

The British pound was down 0.25% against the dollar, hitting $1.237 following the speech. It recovered some of its losses from when Hunt began speaking, but pulled away from the six-week high struck on Thursday. 

Read the full story here.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Morgan Stanley has a ‘simple’ tech playbook, names TSMC and others as stocks to buy right now

Tech stocks have staged a remarkable comeback this year, as investors flock to the sector once more. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is up more than 8% in 2023, outperforming both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.

Despite the recent rally, few believe the downturn in tech has bottomed — but Morgan Stanley believes investors should not sit on the sidelines.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

European markets open flat; H&M down 7%

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index opened flat on the previous session as investors continued to chew over corporate earnings and U.S. economic data.

Swedish retailer H&M dropped 7% in early trade after it reported a bigger than expected drop in operating profit, which it attributed to a cost efficiency program and its exit from Russia.

British supermarket Sainsbury topped the index, up 5.6%, after retail group Bestway announced it had built up a 3.45% stake in the business.

— Jenni Reid

These 6 global ETFs are the only ones to have posted gains every year for the past five years

Only six global stock ETFs have consistently posted yearly gains over the past five years, according to new analysis by CNBC Pro.

They are the only funds among 7,000 equities ETFs trading worldwide to:

  • Not have a single year of negative returns between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2022;
  • And be in positive territory this year so far.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are heading for a mixed open on Friday, mainly continuing Thursday's positive momentum after start of year rally stalled this week.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 5.5 points higher at 7,768, Germany's DAX 16 points higher at 15,142 and Italy's FTSE MIB 50 points higher at 26,308. However, France's CAC was seen down 4.5 points at 7,092, according to data from IG.

Earnings come from H&M and Signify. French consumer confidence data for January will also be released.

— Jenni Reid

Buy the dip? Top Morningstar strategist names 3 stocks trading at a steep discount

This year is shaping up to be a "tale of two halves," according to Dave Sekera, chief U.S. market strategist for Morningstar.

While the U.S. market is likely to stay volatile in the first half of this year, he told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" last week that he expects a sustained rally in the second half.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

U.S. GDP rose 2.9% in the fourth quarter, more than expected even as recession fears loom

U.S. GDP grew by an annualized 2.9% in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday, above a consensus estimate of 2.8% from economists polled by Dow Jones.

The growth rate was slightly slower than the 3.2% pace in the third quarter.

Read the full story here.