European Shares Slip Amid Russia-Ukraine Tensions

Business

European stocks edged lower on Thursday amid worries about commodity-led inflationary pressures, as Russia faced severed global backlash over its full-scale attack on Ukraine.

The downside remained capped after a survey showed Eurozone economic growth regained momentum in February to reach its strongest pace since last September.

IHS Markit said its composite PMI for the euro zone rose to 55.5 in February from 52.3 in the previous month amid strong expansions across both manufacturing and services sectors. The index slumped to 11-month low in January.

Elsewhere, activity in the U.S. services sector expanded at the fastest pace since June despite widespread price rises.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was down 0.2 percent at 445.34 after gaining 0.9 percent on Wednesday. The German DAX slipped half a percent, France’s CAC 40 index eased 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was down 0.3 percent.

H&M fell almost 3 percent. The Swedish retailer has become the latest company to sever ties with Russia.

A relentless rally in commodity prices amid concerns about the overall impact of mounting sanctions against Russia boosted mining and oil stocks.

BP plc advanced 1.3 percent and Shell added 0.8 percent as Brent rose above $118 a barrel on supply worries.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore surged 4-7 percent as aluminum prices climbed to an all-time high and nickel surged to its highest in 11 years.

London Stock Exchange Group climbed 4.7 percent. The exchange said applying financial sanctions on Russia would have only a minor impact on its business.

Thales Group shares jumped 5 percent. The French electrical systems company posted a rise in earnings for the fiscal 2021, amidst an increase in revenue and order intake.

Lufthansa shares slumped nearly 6 percent. After reporting a loss in 2021, the German airline said it could not provide a detailed outlook for 2022 due to the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.

KION Group, a manufacturer of materials handling equipment, soared 7.7 percent after posting strong FY results.

Specialty chemicals company Evonik declined 2.4 percent after reporting lower than expected adjusted core profit for the fourth quarter.

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