Europe midday: Stocks fall as EZ inflation eases less than forecast
European shares were lower on Thursday as eurozone inflation eased less than expected, stoking worries about further interest rate hikes.
The pan-regional Stoxx 600 was down 0.4% at 1153 GMT with major regional bourses lower.
Eurozone inflation eased less than expected in February, according to preliminary data released by Eurostat on Thursday.
Headline inflation in the bloc ticked down to 8.5% year-over-year in February from 8.6% in January. This was above consensus expectations for a decline to 8-8.5% from 8.6% in January, still significantly higher than the ECB’s 2% target.
Investors are nervous that persistent inflation will lead to more tightening of monetary policy. Data so far this week from Spain, France and Germany has shown no signs of easing.
In equity news, shares in gambling group Flutter fell after reporting annual core profit at the lower end of its guidance range.
UK broadcaster ITV fell as it said advertising revenue would be lower in the first quarter of 2023.
Building materials group CRH gained 10% after posting a jump in full-year earnings on Thursday as sales grew, underpinned by the company’s integrated solutions strategy and good demand, and said it was planning to recommend a transition to a US primary listing this year.
German chemicals maker Covestro fell after the company said it expected 2023 core profit to be significantly lower than last year, as the global polycrisis lead to a sharp rise in energy and raw material prices.
Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com