European Stocks Wobble Amid Inflation Concerns and Corporate Shakeups

European shares faced uncertainty before the euro zone's May inflation reading and the U.S.'s April figures. The STOXX 600 index saw mixed performances with advances in telecommunications and energy stocks, but declined in travel and leisure. Investors are focusing on upcoming data to gauge future interest rate adjustments globally.

Reuters | Updated: 31-05-2024 14:04 IST | Created: 31-05-2024 14:04 IST
European Stocks Wobble Amid Inflation Concerns and Corporate Shakeups
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European shares struggled for direction on Friday ahead of the May inflation reading for the euro zone and an April reading for the United States that will decide the scale and timing of interest rate cuts globally.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1%, led by advances in telecommunications and energy shares up by 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively. Travel and leisure stocks led the losses with a 1.7% decline after world's largest online betting firm Flutter named a new group CFO. The stock slipped 7.8%.

The benchmark index is on track for a second week of declines as yields in euro zone spiked to mirror their U.S. counterparts on worries over interest rates staying elevated for longer. The index, however, is likely to log gains on the month. Investors are now squarely focussed on the inflation print from the euro zone at 0900 GMT, which is expected to show a slight uptick in May. A rate cut by the European Central Bank (ECB) in June is all but certain next week, a Reuters poll showed.

The yield on Germany's Bund, the euro zone benchmark, held steady near six-month highs and was last at 2.669% ahead of the data. German retail sales fell more than expected in April, while French consumer prices rose 2.7% year-on-year in May, above expectations due to higher energy prices.

"We still think EZ (euro zone) headline inflation edged higher to 2.5%, from 2.4% in April, but risks are tilted towards 2.6% if the Italian HICP (inflation) comes in hot too. The CPI details were on the softer side, all the same," said Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. The week's main event will be the April reading of the U.S. core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index at 1230 GMT which will decide the future of global monetary policy.

In company news, JD Sports Fashion dropped 9.7% to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after the British sportswear retailer kept profit guidance for its 2024/25 year. Telecom Italia was also a bottom performer with 2.5% fall after U.S. investment firm KKR secured unconditional EU antitrust approval for its up to 22-billion-euro ($24 billion) acquisition of the telecom company's fixed-line network.

IT services firm Capgemini fell 5.0% as JP Morgan cut its rating to neutral from overweight. Energy firm Centrica jumped 3.4% after RBC raised its rating to outperform from sector perform.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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