Markets

European Stocks Post Fourth Straight Week of Losses Amid Fed Jitters; Signify Up 11%

AFP | AFP | Getty Images
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down by 1%, with mining stocks shedding 2.8% to lead losses.
  • It marks a fourth consecutive week of losses for equity markets in Europe, and the first time this has happened since March 2020.

LONDON — European stocks fell sharply on Friday, wrapping up another volatile week for markets amid fears over the direction for central bank policies.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down by 1%, with mining stocks shedding 2.8% to lead losses as almost all sectors bar retail and travel slipped into the red.

It marks the fourth consecutive week of losses for equity markets in Europe — and the first time this has happened since March 2020.

Earnings were a key driver of individual share price movement on Friday. Dutch lighting company Signify jumped nearly 11% after a strong set of results, while Swedish clothing giant H&M gained 5% after beating profit expectations.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, German chemicals company Henkel dropped more than 11% after its earnings report.

Markets have whipsawed throughout the week as investors reacted to the Fed's indication on Wednesday that it could soon raise interest rates for the first time in more than three years, and to rising geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

After a sharply negative open on Thursday, European stocks clawed back losses and closed 0.7% higher after U.S. GDP figures came in stronger than expected. They're still down over 1.5% in the past five days.

Shares in Asia-Pacific closed mostly higher on Friday, while on Wall Street, U.S. stocks were mostly higher, boosted by gains for Apple after the company reported its largest ever single quarter in terms of revenue.

French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH on Thursday said it sees a surge in demand for its fashion, handbags and jewelry products persisting into 2022 after a sharp acceleration in fourth-quarter sales growth to 20.04 billion euros ($22.34 billion).

Data deluge

Economic data releases included flash German, French and Spanish fourth-quarter GDP numbers, Italian inflation prints and a euro zone business climate survey.

France's economy grew by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, Friday's preliminary figures showed, bringing the full-year growth rate to a five-decade high of 7% in 2021 following an 8% contraction in 2020.

Spanish GDP grew 2% quarter on quarter, also exceeding consensus expectations and bringing annual growth to 5%.

The German economy contracted by more than expected in the fourth quarter as renewed Covid-19 measures weighed on activity. GDP shrank 0.7% quarter-on-quarter. Europe's largest economy grew 2.8% in 2021, Friday's figures showed.

The European Commission's monthly economic sentiment index fell to 112.7 in January from a revised 113.8 in December, as industrial and services morale waned.

Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.

- CNBC's Ryan Browne contributed to this report

Copyright CNBCs - CNBC
Contact Us