European markets closed higher Tuesday as investors continue to gauge the health of the global economy as well as corporate earnings.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up 0.4%, having briefly hit a 14-month high earlier in the session.
Banks gained 1.3% with eyes on U.S. results, while mining stocks rose 1.4% after China's economy grew more than expected at 4.5% year on year, beating estimates to see growth of 4% in a Reuters poll. Telecoms stocks led losses with a 0.7% downturn.
U.K. job market figures showed unemployment rose slightly, but the number of people classed as economically inactive was down 0.4 percentage points to 21.1%.
Meanwhile, pay growth slowed by less than expected, with wages increasing 6.9% in the private sector and 5.3% in the public sector.
Ashley Webb, a U.K. economist at Capital Economics, said it left the Bank of England with a "tough call on whether to raise interest rates further;" though also noted wage growth was easing overall.
Wednesday's U.K. consumer price inflation figures "may well be crucial," Webb added.
Sweden's Ericsson extended earlier losses to shed 8.6% after reporting a quarterly fall in sales and an annual fall in earnings. CEO Börje Ekholm told CNBC conditions were challenging but he expected a gradual recovery in the second half of the year.
Asia-Pacific markets were mixed as they took in the Chinese economic data. The onshore Chinese yuan strengthened slightly after the report.
U.S. stocks were lower as traders digested a slew of earnings reports and the implications for the U.S. economy and the health of corporate America. Johnson & Johnson and Bank of America both beat forecasts before the bell, though Goldman Sachs dampened momentum slightly with an earnings miss.
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Demant shares up 10% after 2023 guidance uplift
Shares of the Danish hearing aid maker Demant rose 10% after the company readjusted its growth outlook for 2023.
Demant revised its organic growth forecast for the year from 3–7% to 6–10%. The company also reported first-quarter revenue of 5.51 billion Danish kroner ($811 million).
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Stoxx 600 index at 14-month high
Europe's benchmark Stoxx 600 was trading at a fresh 14-month high above 469.2 in the early afternoon, Eikon data showed.
The index is up around 10.4% in the year to date, despite warnings of an earnings recession and ongoing economic uncertainty.
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Strong U.S. earnings take stock futures higher
Corporate results are continuing to come in hot in U.S. markets.
Bank of America said net interest income rose 25% to $14.4 billion during the quarter, thanks to rising rates.
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Stocks on the move: ALK, Wise plunge
Danish pharma firm ALK-Abello dropped 19.2% through the morning after the firm on Monday missed expectations for its first-quarter tablet sales.
It reported no growth in Europe and cut full-year sales guidance.
Meanwhile, fintech Wise fell 14.7% after reporting a 25% rise in total quarterly volume to 26.7 billion pounds but missed expectations.
The company's shares have declined nearly 50% since it listed in July 2021.
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UK economic inactivity falls as wages rise more than expected
The U.K.'s unemployment rate nudged 0.1 percentage points higher to 3.8% in the December to February 2023 period. Estimates had suggested the figure would be flat.
However, the economic inactivity rate fell by 0.4 percentage points, the Office for National Statistics said.
Wages grew by more than expected, by 5.9% including bonuses and 6.6% without. Pay growth was 6.9% in the private sector and 5.3% in the public sector.
James Smith, developed markets economist at Dutch bank ING, said the wage growth put a "spanner in the works" for those expecting the Bank of England to hold interest rates steady in May.
But he added wage growth momentum was still lower than a few months ago and "heavy conclusions" should not be drawn from one data set.
— Jenni Reid
Ericsson down despite profit beat; CEO says gradual recoving coming in second half
Shares of Swedish telecom firm Ericsson fell 4.5% in early trade after the company reported a drop in adjusted operating earnings to 4 billion Swedish crowns ($386.77 million) from 4.8 billion crowns in the first quarter.
That was ahead of analysts' forecast of 3.28 billion crowns, per Refinitiv.
In February the company announced it would cut 8,500 workers as its margins are squeezed.
CEO Börje Ekholm told CNBC it had been a "challenging" quarter, with sales hit by an inventory adjustment by its customers, but that it saw growth in new markets for its 5G offering and had a plan to maintain its leadership in mobile networks.
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