Business

European Markets Close Slightly Higher as Investors Watch Data; Uniper Up 10%

Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.2% higher, with most major bourses in positive territory.
  • Investors in Europe are watching a slew of economic data releases on Friday, including a preliminary U.K. second-quarter GDP reading, July inflation prints out of France, Spain and Italy, and euro zone industrial production for June.

LONDON — European markets closed mostly higher on Friday, with investors charting the course for monetary policy and economic growth.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up 0.2%, with most major bourses in positive territory. Sectors showed a more mixed picture, with travel and leisure stocks climbing 3.9% while retail shares dropped 0.4%.

The European blue chip index closed Thursday's session in mixed territory, with European stocks having been guided throughout the week mostly by key data points out of the U.S. and a deluge of corporate earnings reports.

In terms of individual share price movement, British paper and packaging company Mondi climbed over 11% to lead the Stoxx 600 after agreeing to sell its Russian business for $1.56 billion.

German energy giant Uniper climbed almost 10% after suggesting it could begin using U.S. gas in place of liquefied natural gas (LNG) it gets from Australia's Woodside, in order to boost supply to Europe over the winter.

At the bottom of the index, German rail braking systems firm Knorr Bremse slumped 11% following its earnings report.

The cautious trade follows a choppy session on Wall Street on Thursday that saw the Dow and S&P 500 close near flat after giving up a short-lived rally on the back of another positive inflation report that showed a monthly fall in producer prices.

U.S. stocks traded slightly higher on Friday.

Data deluge

Investors in Europe digested a slew of economic data releases on Friday, including a preliminary U.K. second-quarter GDP reading, July inflation prints out of France, Spain and Italy, and euro zone industrial production for June.

The U.K. economy contracted in the second quarter of 2022 as the country's cost-of-living crisis hit home. Official figures published Friday showed that gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.1% quarter on quarter in the second three months of the year, less than the 0.3% contraction expected by analysts.

Also on investors' minds was cooler-than-expected U.S. inflation data out on Wednesday.

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