European shares end 3-day losing streak as defensives pull higher

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, August 19, 2022. REUTERS/Staff
  • Miners lead declines, down 1.8%
  • Richemont to sell YNAP stake to Farfetch; shares rise
  • Bavarian Nordic vows to boost monkeypox vaccine supply

Aug 24 (Reuters) - European shares eked out gains by the close on Wednesday, buoyed by a rise in defensive stocks, though worries over a looming energy crisis and gloomy growth outlook kept gains in check.

The pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) ended 0.2% higher, breaking a three-day losing streak but hovering near one-month lows.

Defensive sectors including healthcare (.SXDP) led gains, while miners (.SXPP) fell 1.8%, the most across European sectors.

Markets assessed risks from rising interest rates, bleak economic data, high inflation and a potential recession.

"The continued surge in European gas prices, and likelihood that they will remain extremely high, means that the euro zone will probably suffer a deeper recession than we had previously anticipated," said Jack Allen-Reynolds, senior Europe economist at Capital Economics.

Additionally, European benchmark gas prices have tripled in a little over two months as a winter of unreliable energy supplies from Russia looms. read more

"There was a strong global equity rally earlier led by the U.S. that dragged up Europe with it, but the European outlook is still very difficult," said Graham Secker, Morgan Stanley's chief European equity strategist.

"As we go into Jackson Hole, the market is beginning to reassess that rally, thinking the Fed is still going to stay hawkish, so we're seeing some profit taking."

Investors were cautious ahead of the Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming after Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari on Tuesday reiterated the Fed's focus on controlling inflation ahead of all else. read more

"European inflation expectations are still rising while growth expectations are deteriorating, so the fundamentals continue to get more challenging for equities," Secker said.

German 10-year government bond yields rose to a fresh 8-week high as inflation fears reinforced expectations for an aggressive monetary tightening path.

Market focus was also on minutes from the European Central Bank's last policy meeting due on Thursday that are likely to sound hawkish.

Among stocks, Richemont (CFR.S) rose 3.6% after the company said Farfetch (FTCH.N) would acquire a 47.5% stake in the luxury goods group's loss-making online fashion retailer YOOX Net-A-Porter and that Alabbar would take 3.2%. read more

Bavarian Nordic (BAVA.CO) added 4.6% after the Danish biotech firm said it was making "every effort" to meet the high demand for its monkeypox vaccine around the world as it retained its business outlook for the year. read more

Reporting by Anisha Sircar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Bernadette Baum

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