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European Markets Close Higher Following Choppy Day's Trade

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

European markets closed slightly higher Thursday after a choppy day of trade amid continuing market caution over the inflationary outlook.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.3% by the end of the day, having reversed earlier losses. Oil and gas and tech added 1.7% and 1.2%, respectively, while retail stocks slid 1.5%.

Overnight, Asia-Pacific markets opened lower across the board after the latest Wall Street rally cooled on Wednesday following the release of July minutes from the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee, which pointed to "little evidence inflation pressures were subsiding" at the time of the meeting.

Stateside, the Dow slipped lower Thursday and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq moved marginally higher in the wake of the Fed's comments.

Investors in Europe were attuned on Thursday to July's final euro zone inflation print, which confirmed that annual consumer price increases across the 19-member currency bloc hit a record high 8.9%.

Corporate earnings remained a key driver of individual share price movement in Europe on Thursday.

U.S. stocks slide as summer rally fizzles

On Wall Street, stocks dipped Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a five-day winning streak and a recent market rally appeared to fade.

The Dow inched 0.21% lower, or 71 points, in early trade while the S&P 500 slipped 0.07%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.09%.

Investors are closely watching retail earnings today, with reports from Kohl's, Bath & Body Works and BJ's Wholesale expected to provide insight into the health of the consumer.

Meantime, initial jobless data provided clues into the state of the job market, with claims dropping to 250,000 for the week ended Aug. 13.

— Karen Gilchrist

Earnings in focus: Siegfried up 12%, Adyen down 11%

Shares of Swiss life sciences company Siegfried climbed more than 12% by mid-afternoon to lead the Stoxx 600 after the company vastly outperformed first-half earnings expectations.

Adyen shares remained at the bottom of the index, down 11 after the Dutch payments company missed first-half earnings projections.

- Elliot Smith

Bond yields tick lower after Fed’s meeting minutes released

Bond yields ticked downward, cooling after the previous session's rise following the release of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee's July meeting minutes.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was just under one basis point lower at 2.886%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond traded 1 basis point lower at 3.135%.

The yield on the shorter-term 2-year Treasury note was one basis point lower at 3.285%. Yields move inversely to prices, and a basis point is equal to 0.01%.

Markets are looking ahead to data releases on employment scheduled Thursday, including a variety of jobless claims as well as home sales figures.

Read the full bonds report here. 

— Natasha Turak

Euro zone inflation hits record high in July

The final euro zone inflation print, published Thursday, confirmed that annual consumer price increases across the 19-member common currency bloc hit a record high 8.9% in July.

European Union statistics office Eurostat said prices rose 0.1% on a monthly basis, while energy remained the largest contributor to upward price pressures, with Russia's war in Ukraine continuing to impair supply.

- Elliot Smith

Adyen down 11%, GN Store Nord up 5%

Adyen shares plunged more than 11% in early trade to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after the Dutch payments company missed first-half earnings expectations.

At the top of the index, Danish hearing aid maker GN Store Nord climbed more than 5% after reporting strong second-quarter profit growth.

Germany is ahead of schedule in the race to shore up gas supplies for winter

European governments are scrambling to fill underground storage with gas supplies to provide households with enough fuel to keep homes warm during winter.
Picture Alliance | Picture Alliance | Getty Images
European governments are scrambling to fill underground storage with gas supplies to provide households with enough fuel to keep homes warm during winter.

Germany's natural gas storage facilities hit a key milestone this month, two weeks ahead of schedule, as European governments scramble to prepare for the winter period.

"I will say that so far Germany has done a good job," Zongqiang Luo, gas analyst at energy consultancy Rystad Energy, told CNBC via telephone. "But let's see how they are going to fulfill the target for the next two months. This will be very, very critical for the coming winter."

Europe's race to save enough gas to get through the colder months comes as Russia squeezes supplies. The surge in energy costs is driving up household bills and pushing inflation to its highest level in decades.

Here's the full story.

— Sam Meredith

CNBC Pro: Top tech investor Paul Meeks reveals why he thinks PayPal is a buy

PayPal has lost nearly half its market cap this year — and that's despite a strong rally over the past month.

But top tech investor Paul Meeks is still a fan of the online payments giant. He tells CNBC Pro Talks why he thinks the stock is a buying opportunity.

Pro subscribers can read the story here.

— Zavier Ong

Euro zone economic growth revised down

Economic growth in the euro zone for the second quarter was revised down on Wednesday from 0.7% to 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, and from 4% to 3.9% annually.

Eurostat also revealed that employment across the 19-member common currency bloc rose 0.3% quarterly, for a 2.4% year-on-year increase.

CNBC Pro: Goldman says planned energy transition is driving valuations, picks stocks that are ‘best-in-class’

The energy efficiency improvements that companies carry out will be increasingly important to investors, according to Goldman Sachs.

"Carbon is increasingly becoming a factor that impacts stock selection and equity valuation, driven by growing regulatory pressure and net zero investment strategies," the investment bank wrote in a recent August report.

Goldman identified buy-rated companies which rank well on their reductions in energy usage, and where it says energy efficiency will play a key role in the companies' competitive positioning in the long term.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

UK inflation hits new 40-year high of 10.1% as food and energy price surge continues

U.K. inflation rose to another 40-year high in July as spiraling food and energy prices continued to intensify the country's historic squeeze on households.

The consumer price index rose 10.1% annually, according to estimates published by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday, above a Reuters consensus forecast of 9.8% and up from 9.4% in June.

Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, came in at 6.2% in the year to July 2022, rising from 5.8% in June and ahead of projections of 5.9%.

Rising food prices made the largest upward contribution to annual inflation rates between June and July, the ONS said in its report.

- Elliot Smith

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European stocks are expected to open cautiously higher on Wednesday with the U.K.'s FTSE index seen 18 points higher at 7,560, Germany's DAX 33 points higher at 13,944, France's CAC 40 up 18 points at 6,616 and Italy's FTSE MIB up 42 points at 23,029, according to data from IG.

Data releases include preliminary euro zone unemployment data for the second quarter as well as second quarter gross domestic product. The latest U.K. inflation numbers for July will be released as well as preliminary second quarter Dutch GDP.

Earnings come from Uniper, Carlsberg, Persimmon, Balfour Beatty, BAT and National Grid.

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