European stocks close higher as investors assess earnings; Stoxx 600 hit 14-month high

Jenni Reid
Holly Ellyatt

This is CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

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.

European markets

.FTSEFTSE 1007,601.85+8.63+0.11%
.FCHICAC 40 Index7,116.24UNCHUNCH
.FTMIBFTSE MIB 28,163.03+150.73+0.54%
.IBEXIBEX 35 Idx9,426.80+94.90+1.02%

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.

Shares of airline Easyjet were slightly higher after narrowing first-quarter losses due to strong Easter demand and saying full-year profits would likely beat estimates.

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.

Tue, Apr 18 2023 10:36 AM EDT

Positivity in public markets depends on overall economy strength, ZOPA CEO says

Jaidev Janardana, chief executive of ZOPA, discusses his outlook for the digital bank in 2023.

Tue, Apr 18 2023 10:34 AM EDT

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.

See Chart...
Demant share price.

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).

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Tue, Apr 18 2023 10:14 AM EDT

We can bring down energy costs by investing in renewables, says SSE CEO

Alistair Phillips-Davies, CEO of SSE, says that building infrastructure can lead to lower energy costs and supply security.

Tue, Apr 18 2023 8:21 AM EDT

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.

See Chart...
Stoxx 600 index.

— Jenni Reid

Tue, Apr 18 2023 7:46 AM EDT

It will be ‘very difficult’ for banks to stem deposit outflows entirely, analyst says

John Heagerty, U.S. financials analyst at Atlantic Equities, discusses what could lie ahead for U.S. banks as deposit outflows have accelerated.

Tue, Apr 18 2023 7:15 AM EDT

Strong U.S. earnings take stock futures higher

Corporate results are continuing to come in hot in U.S. markets.

Ahead of the opening bell, Bank of America and Johnson & Johnson beat earnings, with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures up by more than 100 points.

Bank of America said net interest income rose 25% to $14.4 billion during the quarter, thanks to rising rates.

— Jenni Reid

Tue, Apr 18 2023 6:56 AM EDT

Reassessment of recession risk is enabling market rally, strategist says

Michael Metcalfe, head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets, discusses emerging market opportunity, Europe and U.S. rate hikes and the dollar.

Tue, Apr 18 2023 5:53 AM EDT

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.

See Chart...
Wise share price.

— Jenni Reid

Tue, Apr 18 2023 4:51 AM EDT

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.

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

Tue, Apr 18 2023 4:04 AM EDT

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.

— Jenni Reid

Tue, Apr 18 2023 3:34 AM EDT

GSK to buy Canadian drug developer Bellus Health for $2 billion

Pharma giant GSK announced it would buy Canada's Bellus Health Inc, a drug development company, in an all-cash deal worth $2 billion.

Its offer of $14.75 per share is more than double the value of Bellus shares' closing price on the Nasdaq on Monday.

Luke Miels, GSK's chief commercial officer, said Camlipixant, a treatment under development for chronic coughs, had the "potential to be a best-in-class treatment with significant sales potential."

GSK shares were 0.2% lower at 8:30 a.m. in London.

— Jenni Reid

Tue, Apr 18 2023 3:12 AM EDT

Europe stocks open higher

Europe's Stoxx 600 index was up 0.2% shortly after the open, with all sectors posting gains — though they were modest.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.3%, Germany's DAX up 0.26% and France's CAC 40 up 0.23% as investors assess corporate earnings and economic conditions.

See Chart...
Stoxx 600 index.

— Jenni Reid

Tue, Apr 18 2023 2:55 AM EDT

Online retailer THG reports higher revenue amid private equity speculation

Online retailer THG reported a 2.7% rise in revenue to £2.24 billion ($2.78 billion) and adjusted earnings of £64.1 million for the full year 2022.

The company's gross margin fell from 44.7% to 41.3%.

"While FY 2022 adjusted EBITDA was not where we planned at the start of the year, this was largely the result of our strategy to minimise the impact of inflation upon our customer base," said CEO Matthew Moulding.

"This investment in their retention, and longer term growth, was the principle driver behind the reduction in gross margin."

It results come after THG shares jumped Monday after it said it had received a "highly preliminary" buyout proposal from Apollo Global Management.

See Chart...
THG share price.

—Jenni Reid

Tue, Apr 18 2023 2:30 AM EDT

Easyjet lifts profit expectations

U.K. low-cost airline Easyjet said Tuesday it expects full-year profits to beat market forecasts of around £260 million ($322.3 million).

It came in a trading update that showed a loss before tax of £133 million in the first quarter, versus a £213 million loss last year. Passenger numbers were up by 47%.

CEO Johan Lundgren said the company was benefiting from strong summer booking momentum and had seen strong demand over the Easter holidays.

See Chart...
Easyjet share price.

— Jenni Reid

21 Hours Ago

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are expected to open higher Thursday.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 20 points higher at 7,600, Germany's DAX up 48 points at 15,259, France's CAC up 4 points at 7,072 and Italy's FTSE MIB up 73 points at 28,085, according to data from IG. 

On the data front, preliminary inflation data for Germany and Spain in September are due, as well as Italian consumer confidence for the same month. There are no major earnings.

— Holly Ellyatt

Mon, Apr 17 2023 10:14 PM EDT

China's economy expanded 4.5% in the first quarter of 2023

China's gross domestic product rose by 4.5% in the first quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.

That was compared with the 4% forecast in a Reuters poll and marks the fastest growth seen since the first quarter of last year. The economy expanded 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Retail sales jumped by 10.6% in March, higher than Reuters' expectations to see 7.4% growth – industrial output rose 3.9% for the month, lower than the forecast of 4% by Reuters.

The Chinese yuan strengthened 0.1% to 6.8712 against the U.S. dollar after the report.

– Jihye Lee

Mon, Apr 17 2023 9:08 PM EDT

CNBC Pro: Citi says it's time to reconsider ESG, naming 3 stocks that could soar by 30%

Investments in Environmental, Social, and Governance stocks underperformed the broader market in 2022, but strategists at the Wall Street bank Citi think the theme is set to rebound this year.

The investment bank identified several ESG stocks that are expected to rebound this year, with at least three stocks poised for a 30% upside potential.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

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Mon, Apr 17 2023 8:48 PM EDT

CNBC Pro: Goldman names 4 stocks to play $5 trillion e-commerce opportunity — including one with 70% upside

The e-commerce sector has seen growth slow after two years of pandemic-fueled growth. But the industry is far from being in a decline, according to Goldman Sachs.

The bank says e-commerce will benefit from secular growth tailwinds, and sees global sales reaching $4.8 trillion by 2026.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Zavier Ong

Mon, Apr 17 2023 7:47 AM EDT

Earnings season off to best start since at least 2012, according to Bank of America

Despite persistent inflation, higher rates and fears of an impending recession, earnings season is off to one of its best starts in a little over a decade, according to data from Bank of America.

Of the 30 companies that have reported so far, 90% have beat earnings per share expectations, marking the best beat rate after week one since at least 2012, wrote Savita Subramanian in a Monday note to clients.

She added that 73% of companies that reported last week surpassed sales expectations, while 67% beat on both measures. Last quarter's week one results showed just 46% of companies beat on both EPS and sales, while the historical average sits at just 48%.

"Fueled by bank beats, 1Q EPS is tracking a 30bp surprise," the equity and quant strategist said. "We forecast an in-line quarter but expect more downward guidance and some commentary around changes in cash use if credit conditions deteriorate."

Overall, consensus expectations are calling for a more than 7% decline in first-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 year over year, she noted.

Big bank earnings may have offered some relief, but the market isn't out of the woods just yet as credit impacts emerge in areas like industrials.

"A massive, systemic financial confidence shock appears to have been averted, but tighter credit is manifesting in the real economy," she said.

— Samantha Subin

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