Europe close: Stocks edge higher on the back of latest corporate updates
European shares finished in the green on Wednesday as upbeat corporate updates outweighed worries over interest rate rises.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.23% at 480.90, adding to a sharp fall in the previous session. US 10-year and five-year Treasury yields held near two-year highs overnight, as concerns around inflationary pressures hit sentiment again and in turn weighed on global tech stocks.
Mimicking recent moves in US Treasury note yields, earlier in the session, the benchmark German 10-year bond yield also rose above 0% on Wednesday, for the first time since May 2019.
In the UK, the FTSE 100 rose 0.35% to 7,589.66 after figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that consumer price inflation rose to 5.4% from 5.1% in November, coming in above consensus expectations of 5.2% and well above the Bank of England’s 2% target.
The Bank of England's next policy meeting is on 3 February. At its last meeting in December, Bank raised rates for the first time since the onset of the Covid pandemic, by 15 basis points.
In equity news, luxury stocks were in demand after Cartier owner Richemont said strong demand for its jewellery and watches in the Americas and Europe helped quarterly sales rise by nearly a third.
UK fashion retailer Burberry rallied after it reported a 5% rise in third-quarter revenues and lifted annual profits guidance driven by an acceleration in full price sales. The company said revenue for the 13 weeks to December 25 came in at £723m compared with £688m.
Educational publisher Pearson gained more than 4% as it raised annual profits guidance, driven by its assessment and qualification business.
Housebuilder Crest Nicholson and travel retailer WH Smith were higher after well-received trading updates, while pub chain JD Wetherspoon ticked up despite warning it would swing to an interim loss.