Markets

European Markets Close Higher as China Property Fears Cool; LSE Down 6%

Tolga Akmen | AFP via Getty Images
  • Friday marks another big day of corporate earnings in Europe, with Renault, Banco Sabadell, the London Stock Exchange and InterContinental among those reporting.
  • Shares of China Evergrande Group bounced in Hong Kong overnight following media reports that the embattled developer is set to pay off a coupon payment on a dollar-denominated bond.
  • October's initial flash composite PMI (purchasing managers' index) reading for the euro zone came in at a six-month low of 54.3, down from 56.2 in September, as soaring prices weighed on companies.

LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Friday as fears over the Chinese property market cooled, while investors monitored corporate earnings and key economic data.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended 0.5% higher, with tech stocks adding 1.5% to lead gains while oil and gas stocks dipped 0.5%.

Markets in Europe emulated overnight gains in Asia-Pacific, where shares of China Evergrande Group bounced in Hong Kong following media reports that the embattled developer is set to pay off a coupon payment on a dollar-denominated bond.

Stateside, U.S. stocks were marginally lower on Friday following weak earnings from major tech companies, including Intel and Snap. This comes after the S&P 500 notched a new intraday high and a fresh record close on Thursday, with earnings reports so far providing support despite supply chain and inflation headwinds.

Earnings in focus

Friday marked another big day of corporate earnings in Europe, with Renault, Banco Sabadell, the London Stock Exchange and InterContinental among those reporting before the bell.

At the top of the Stoxx 600, Swedish sport equipment maker Thule climbed more than 9% after strong third-quarter earnings.

Meanwhile, French mall owner Klepierre rose over 8% after hiking its full-year guidance, as retailer sales and rent collection neared their pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter.

L'Oreal shares jumped 5% after the French cosmetics giant announced better-than-expected third-quarter growth.

Toward the bottom of the European blue chip index, London Stock Exchange shares dropped around 6% following its trading statement.

Economic data deluge

On the data front, the U.K.'s GfK consumer confidence survey for October showed British consumers at their most downbeat since February, as rising energy prices and Covid-19 cases cast fresh doubt over the country's recovery. GfK also found that a record proportion of Brits believe inflation will speed up over the next 12 months.

October's initial flash composite PMI (purchasing managers' index) reading for the euro zone, which encompasses both services and manufacturing, came in at a six-month low of 54.3, down from 56.2 in September, as soaring prices weighed on companies. Inflation expectations across the common currency bloc also jumped out to multi-year highs.

In the U.K., the composite reading unexpectedly climbed to 56.8 from 54.9 in September, but new data also showed that U.K. retail sales fell 0.2% month-on-month in September, well below consensus expectations for a 0.5% rise.

In other news, G-7 trade chiefs will meet on Friday to discuss the global supply chain challenges that are slowing growth and causing inflation to spike.

In Germany, the three parties embroiled in coalition talks hope to conclude negotiations by the end of November and pave the way for Social Democratic Party leader Olaf Scholz to be elected as chancellor in early December, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing party officials.

- CNBC's Eustance Huang contributed to this report.

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