European Stocks Close Higher Again As Earnings News Lift Sentiment

(RTTNews) - European stocks closed on a strong note on Thursday, continuing to benefit from largely encouraging earnings news.

The mood in the markets remained quite positive despite lingering worries about the war in Ukraine, Russia's decision to halt gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria, fears over sharper interest rate hikes by global central banks, soaring inflation, and the restrictions in China to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.62%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 1.13%, Germany's DAX surged up 1.35% and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.98%. Switzerland's SMI edged up 0.14%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain ended with strong gains.

Czech Republic and Poland edged up marginally, while Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Turkey closed weak.

In the UK market, Standard Chartered soared 14.15% on upbeat results. The lender said profit attributable to parent company shareholders grew 8% to $1.18 billion in the first quarter. The company also said that it expects income growth to slightly exceed the previously guided 5-7% range, and that it is on track to deliver 10% return on tangible equity by 2024, if not earlier.

Aveva Group rallied nearly 7%. Barclays gained about 4% after first-quarter net profits beat analyst forecasts of £0.6 billion, helped by robust investment banking performance.

Whitbread, Airtel Africa, Electrocomponents, Melrose Industries, Sage Group, Smith & Nephew, IAG, Spirax-Sarco Engineering, Burberry Group, Unilever, JD Sports Fashion, BP, Shell and Associated British Foods gained 2.5 to 4.3%.

Sainsbury (J) drifted down more than 4%. Fresnillo shed about 3.7% and St. James Place ended 2.8% down. Ocado Group, Pershing Square Holdings, Anglo American Plc and BT Group lost 1 to 2%.

In the French market, WorldLine rallied 6.5% after gaining 2% in the previous session following release of upbeat first qurterly results that showed organic growth of 11.6%.

Renault rallied 3.5%. Atos gained 5.7%. Dassault Systemes moved up more than 5%, continuing to benefit from strong earnings reported on Wednesday. Cap Gemini gained 5% after reporting fourth consecutive quarter with double digit growth and confirming 2022 guidance.

Accor, Teleperformance, Veolia, Danone, L'Oreal, Engie, STMicroElectronics and Schneider Electric also moved up sharply.

Unibail Rodamco drifted down more than 4%. Sanofi, Pernod Ricard, Sodexo, Thales and ArcelorMittal also ended weak.

In Germany, Hello Fresh climbed nearly 5%. The company expects first-quarter revenue and adjusted EBITDA above market expectations. The company also confirmed its fiscal 2022 outlook.

Daimler surged up by about 4%. MTU Aero Engines, Munich RE, Brenntag, Adidas, Puma, Continental, SAP, Infineon Technologies, Porsche Automobil, Henkel, E.ON, Siemens, BMW, Merck and Sartorius gained 1.5 to 3%.

In economic news, Germany's inflation unexpectedly accelerated further in April to set a new high in over four decades, driven by runaway energy prices and increased production costs due to supply bottlenecks in the backdrop of the Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The flash consumer price index rose 7.4% year-on-year following a 7.3% increase in the previous month, preliminary estimates from Destatis showed. Economists had expected annual inflation to slow to 7.2%.

Germany's construction sector morale eroded sharply in April as an increasing number of firms face supply shortages due to the war in Ukraine, survey data from the ifo institute showed.

The share of building construction companies reporting material shortages rose to 54.2% in April from 37.2% in the previous month. In civil engineering, the proportion climbed to 46.2% from 31.5%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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