European Stocks Close Notably Lower On Growth Worries
(RTTNews) – European stocks ended on a negative note on Friday as signs of slowing global growth amid a surge in coronavirus cases in several countries across the world, and introduction of tighter regulations on technology firms in China hurt sentiment.
Recent weak retail sales and industrial production data out of China, and a drop in inflation in the U.S. have also raised concerns about growth.
Investors looked ahead to the monetary policy meetings of the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve, due next week.
Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Sweden ended weak.
Czech Republic, Greece, Spain and Turkey moved up.
Travel and tourism stocks gained ground amid reports that Britain will consider easing COVID-19 rules for international travel.
In the UK market, Anglo American Plc shares plunged more than 8% following a rating downgrade of the stock. BHP Group, Weir Group, Ocado Group, Rio Tinto, Smiths Group and Mondi lost 3 to 4.8%.
CRH, Ashtead Group, Just Eat Takeaway.com, Croda International, Evraz, Antofagasta, Glencore, Ferguson and Bunzl also declined sharply.
IAG shares climbed nearly 5%. Intercontinental Hotels Group, HSBC Holdings and Flutter Entertainment gained nearly 2%. Rolls-Royce Holdings, Next, Entain, Pershing Square Holdings and (BA)E Systems gained 1 to 1.8%.
Shares of Accsys Technologies rallied sharply after the British wood building products maker reported strong sales and revenue growth for the five months.
In the French market, STMicroElectronics, Air Liquide, Schneider Electric, Airbus, Saint Gobain and Vinci lost 2 to 3%. Legrand, Credit Agricole, Publicis Groupe and Carrefour also ended notably lower.
Faurecia surged up more than 2%. Kering, Hermes International, Air France-KLM, Pernod Ricard and Orange gained 1 to 2%.
Lufthansa climbed more than 2%, while Infineon Technologies and Continental gained about 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively. Biotest shares soared nearly 25% as Grifols SA agreed to buy the healthcare company for about 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion).
In economic releases, UK. retail sales declined for the fourth straight month in August, the Office for National Statistics reported.
Retail sales including auto fuel dropped unexpectedly by 0.9% month-on-month after declining 2.8% in July. Sales were forecast to climb 0.5%.
On a yearly basis, retail sales remained flat versus July’s 1.9% increase and the expected growth of 2.5%.
Elsewhere, Eurozone’s construction output grew for the first time in four months in July, data from Eurostat showed. The construction output gained 0.1% month-on-month in July, after a 0.6% decrease in June.
On a year-on-year basis, output gained 3.3% in the month, after a 4.1% growth in the prior month.
Eurozone inflation accelerated as initially estimated in August to a near decade high, rising to 3% in the month from 2.2% in July, final data from Eurostat showed. This was the highest since November 2011 and also exceeded the European Central Bank’s 2% target.
The euro area current account surplus remained unchanged in July, coming in at EUR 22 billion, data published by the European Central Bank showed.
The surplus on goods trade increased to EUR 26 billion from EUR 22 billion in June, while the surplus on services fell to EUR 6 billion from EUR 11 billion in June.
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