Business

European Shares Close 2% Higher as Global Markets Look for Rebound; Travel Stocks Surge

Thomas Lohnes | Getty Images
  • European stocks advanced on Friday as global markets looked to regain some ground after a bruising week, with investors assessing the outlook for inflation and interest rates.
  • U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that he could not guarantee a so-called "soft landing" that tempers inflation without pushing the economy into recession.

LONDON — European stocks bounced on Friday as global markets looked to regain some ground after a bruising week, with investors assessing the outlook for inflation and interest rates.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 2%, with travel and leisure stocks jumping 4.7% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses finished in positive territory.

European markets fell on Thursday as investors remained concerned about slowing growth, interest rate hikes and red-hot April inflation data from the United States, which sparked concerns that a path of aggressive interest rate hiking lies ahead.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that he could not guarantee a so-called "soft landing" that tempers inflation without pushing the economy into recession.

On Wall Street, stocks jumped Friday, as investors looked to steer the S&P 500 away from official bear market territory following a week of sharp losses.

Investors are also monitoring the geopolitical fallout from the war in Ukraine. Russia on Thursday threatened retaliation against Finland after Finnish leaders said the northern European nation must apply to join NATO "without delay."

European leaders are also facing a race to secure alternative gas suppliers after Moscow announced sanctions on European subsidi1ries of its majority state-owned corporation Gazprom. The move came after Ukraine's state-owned grid operator suspended Russian flows into Europe through a key entry point.

On the data front, French inflation was confirmed at an annual 5.4% in April.

Euro area industrial production shrank by 1.8% in March from the previous month, a sharper downturn than the 1% expected by a Dow Jones poll, as the war in Ukraine began to take its toll.

In terms of individual share price movement, Sweden's Storskogen Group and Finnish state-owned energy company Fortum both climbed more than 11%.

Shares of Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB fell more than 13% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it cannot approve a key psoriasis drug.

Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.

Copyright CNBCs - CNBC
Contact Us