(Reuters) - European shares ended lower on Wednesday, as Wall Street’s retreat from record highs dragged Europe down from an early rise on upbeat earnings reports from firms including SocGen that fed optimism around a broader economic rebound.
Gains in commodity-linked shares and banks were outweighed by losses in most other sectors, taking the pan-European STOXX 600 index 0.2% lower.
Wall Street’s main stock indexes slipped after hitting record highs at the open, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite sliding 0.4% after a streak of gains. Technology stocks led losses in Europe, posting their worst session in two weeks. [.N]
Investors will watch U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech for clues on the pace of an economic rebound in the world’s largest economy. Most European indices had climbed in morning trading as investors looked to signs of progress around the proposed $1.9 trillion U.S. stimulus bill. [MKTS/GLOB]
Historic monetary and fiscal stimulus has helped the STOXX 600 rally about 50% since it crashed to multi-year lows in March 2020. The index now is just 5% below its all-time high as hopes build for a faster economic recovery.
“As is always the way, markets have switched from greed to fear and then from fear to greed,” said analysts at AJ Bell.
“The combination of vaccines, fiscal and monetary stimulus has persuaded markets to look on the bright side and go even beyond that, as they contemplate whether inflation is about to make an unexpected return to the financial stage.”
Earnings were in focus with Societe Generale leading gains on France’s CAC 40 index with its 2.9% jump after beating profit forecasts for the fourth quarter.
The CAC 40 traded in the red, however, as data showed French industrial output came in weaker than expected in December despite the lifting of a coronavirus lockdown.
Studded with luxury names, the index was also weighed on by a 1.4% slide in Louis Vuitton owner LVMH, after music star Rihanna and the company agreed to suspend her fashion line Fenty less than two years after its launch.
At the bottom of the STOXX 600 was drugmaker Galapagos after the Belgo-Dutch company and U.S. partner Gilead Sciences discontinued late-stage trials studies of their lung disease drug.
Meanwhile, Adyen topped the index after the payment processor beat expectations with a 27% rise in full-year core earnings helped by growth in the Americas.
Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Uttaresh.V and David Gregorio
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