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European stocks mixed; Euro banking sector, Meta Platforms in the spotlight

Published 04/25/2024, 03:52 AM
Updated 04/25/2024, 04:04 AM
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Investing.com - European stock markets traded in a mixed fashion Thursday, with investors focusing on a deluge of significant corporate earnings.

At 04:00 ET (08:00 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.4% lower, the CAC 40 in France traded 0.3% lower, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. climbed 0.4%.

European banking sector in focus 

The banking sector is in the spotlight in Europe Thursday, as the quarterly earnings season kicks into top gear.

Deutsche Bank (ETR:DBKGn) stock fell slightly despite the German lender posted a better-than-expected 10% increase in first-quarter profit as a resurgence in fixed-income trading and deal-making propelled revenue at its investment banking division.

Barclays (LON:BARC) stock rose 5% after the British lender reported a 12% fall in first quarter profit, a smaller drop than expected as it combats a squeeze on U.K. mortgage pricing, lower income from trading and a drought of M&A fees. 

Elsewhere, Unilever (LON:ULVR) stock rose 4% after the consumer goods giant said first-quarter sales rose by more than expected, winning back shoppers who had traded down to cheaper products.

Nestle (SIX:NESN) stock fell over 3% after the Swiss food and drinks giant reported a 5.9% fall in sales for the first quarter, with a significant drag from the North American market.

There has also been some M&A news to digest, with Anglo American (JO:AGLJ) stock jumping 13% after BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) said it made an offer to buy the London-listed miner, a deal that would create the world's biggest copper miner with around 10% of global output.

Meta Platforms weighs on sentiment 

The European session had received a negative lead in from Asia, after disappointing earnings forecasts from Facebook-parent Meta Platforms hammered tech shares.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) stock slumped 15% in extended trading after the Instagram parent forecast lighter-than-expected current quarter revenue and higher expenses soured the mood, sparking a sell-off in U.S. tech and tech-related stocks.

German consumer confidence slowly improving 

In economic news, the forward-looking GfK German consumer climate showed a small improvement in May, coming in at -24.2, an improvement from the upwardly-revised -27.3 seen the prior month.

This follows on from Wednesday’s rise in Germany’s Ifo Institute’s survey on business conditions and expectations for April, suggesting that the eurozone’s largest economy is slowly recovering.

Crude gains on U.S. stockpiles drop

Oil prices edged higher Thursday, rebounding after the previous session’s losses as traders digested the latest U.S. inventories data.

By 04:00 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% higher at $83.10 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.4% to $88.33 a barrel.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed that gasoline stockpiles fell less than forecast while distillate stockpiles rose against expectations of a decline, reflecting signs of slowing demand. 

That said, crude inventories plunged over six million barrels, when a build of around 1.6 million barrels had been expected.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $2,337.60/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0722.

 

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