Investors watch data, monetary policy path


LONDON — European markets were mixed on Friday, with investors charting the course for monetary policy and economic growth.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline by early afternoon, having given back gains of more than 0.4%. Travel and leisure stocks climbed 2.6% while tech stocks dropped 0.8%.

The European blue chip index closed Thursday’s session in mixed territory, with European stocks having been guided throughout the week mostly by key data points out of the U.S. and a deluge of corporate earnings reports.

In terms of individual share price movement, British paper and packaging company Mondi climbed 9.6% to lead the Stoxx 600 after agreeing to sell its Russian business for $1.56 billion.

German energy giant Uniper climbed 9% in early trade after reports suggested it could begin using U.S. gas in place of liquefied natural gas (LNG) it gets from Australia’s Woodside, in order to boost supply to Europe over the winter.

At the bottom of the index, Britain’s Oxford Nanopore fell more than 8%.

The cautious trade follows a choppy session on Wall Street on Thursday that saw the Dow and S&P 500 close near flat after giving up a short-lived rally on the back of another positive inflation report that showed a monthly fall in producer prices.

Stock futures stateside nudged slightly higher in early premarket trade on Friday.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were also mixed on Friday following strong gains in the previous session as investors digested Wednesday’s cooler-than-expected U.S. consumer price index reading. Japanese stocks were the outlier, surging on their return to trade after a public holiday.

Investors in Europe are digesting a slew of economic data releases on Friday, including a preliminary U.K. second-quarter GDP reading, July inflation prints out of France, Spain and Italy, and euro zone industrial production for June.

The U.K. economy contracted in the second quarter of 2022 as the country’s cost-of-living crisis hit home. Official figures published Friday showed that gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.1% quarter on quarter in the second three months of the year, less than the 0.3% contraction expected by analysts.

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