German, French, UK stocks from market open to close

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LONDON — European stocks were muted on Friday morning, continuing to search for direction as global investors assess recent high inflation prints and corporate earnings.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early trade, with household goods adding 1.2% while travel and leisure stocks slipped 1.1%.

Historic inflation surges in the U.S. and China have weighed on global markets so far this week, but European markets are still looking to eke out gains going into Friday’s trade.

A Reuters poll of economists on Thursday indicated that euro zone inflation expectations are also at risk of continuing to overshoot the European Central Bank’s 2% target in 2022. Euro zone inflation topped 4% last month but the ECB has broken from other major central banks by resisting calls for a tightening of monetary policy.

However, ECB policymaker Gediminas Simkus told a conference on Friday that inflation would return to target in 2023, Reuters reported.

Shares in Asia-Pacific mostly rose on Friday following overnight gains for U.S. tech stocks during Thursday’s regular trading session. Early premarket trading points to a modestly positive start on Wall Street Friday as the stock market stateside looks to have withstood the country’s highest inflation print for more than 30 years.

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Corporate earnings have also been a key driver of individual share price action throughout the week, and continuing Friday with AstraZeneca, Richemont, Deutsche Wohnen and Deutsche Telekom among those reporting before the bell.

Richemont shares climbed 7.8% in early trade after the Swiss luxury goods company posted strong earnings and revealed talks with online fashion retailer Farfetch in a bid to convert its loss-making Yoox-Net-a-Porter (YNAP) into a neutral industry platform.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Danish software firm Simcorp fell more than 5% following its third-quarter results.

In other corporate news, Daimler announced Thursday that its truck business will be spun off on Dec. 10 as the German automaker looks cut costs and bump up profit margins to double figures by 2025.

On the data front, euro zone industrial production figures for September are due out Friday morning.

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