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European shares advance amid increasing rate cut hopes

Published 01/12/2024, 03:30 AM
Updated 01/12/2024, 12:21 PM
© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 9, 2024.     REUTERS/Staff/File photo

By Shashwat Chauhan, Khushi Singh and Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) -European shares ended higher on Friday as bond yields fell after soft U.S. data spurred hopes of early interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve and other major central banks, while Airbus shares shone after it reported record annual jet orders.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.8% higher, snapping a three-day losing streak and logging its best single-day performance so far this year, though ending flat on the week.

Industrial goods and services led sectoral gains, rising 1.7%, while media stocks added 1.7% as well.

U.S. data showed producer prices in the United States unexpectedly fell in December, suggesting inflation would continue to subside and allow the Fed Reserve to start cutting interest rates this year.

Mirroring falls in U.S. Treasuries, government bond yields across Europe eased as investors also ramped up their bets for future European Central Bank (ECB) rate cuts.

"Generally speaking, both central banks are done hiking rates," said Marcelo Carvalho, global head of economics, BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY) in London.

"There's much more convincing evidence that indeed we're going towards the right direction of inflation."

French consumer price inflation (CPI) rose 4.1% year-on-year in December, while Spain's annual inflation fell to 3.1% last month.

A separate reading showed Britain's economy grew slightly more strongly than expected in November. UK's FTSE 100 ended 0.6% higher. (L)

ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday the "hardest and worst bit" regarding inflation was likely over and that interest rates would be cut if inflation falls to the 2% level.

Pushing back on those expectations, chief ECB economist Philip Lane said that recent inflation data broadly confirmed current thinking at the central bank, meaning rate cuts are not a near-term topic of debate.

Among headlining stocks on Friday, Airbus advanced 3.7% after the planemaker reported record annual jet orders and confirmed an 11% rise in 2023 deliveries. The aerospace and defence index climbed 2.8%, hitting a record high.

Major oil and gas shares added 0.9% as crude oil prices rose close to 2% as some oil tankers diverted course from the Red Sea following overnight air and sea strikes by the United States and Britain on Houthi targets in Yemen.

Shipping firms Hapag Lloyd and Maersk ended the day 2.1% and 0.4% lower, respectively.

© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 9, 2024.     REUTERS/Staff/File photo

Burberry declined 5.5% after the luxury retailer downgraded its guidance, citing a slowdown in luxury demand. The broader luxury index fell 0.3%.

Electrolux fell 4.8% after the Swedish appliances maker reported a preliminary fourth-quarter operating loss of around 700 million crowns ($68.4 mln) before non-recurring items.

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