European Shares Retreat On Rate Worries

European stocks edged lower on Friday and Treasury yields held gains across the curve amid lingering uncertainties around inflation and further interest-rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Treasury yields spiked after Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said it’s important for the U.S. central bank to continue to raise rates to ensure if brings inflation back to the 2 percent target.

Closer home, the Bundesbank’s president, Joachim Nagel, reaffirmed his call for more interest rate increases.

In economic releases, investors weighed data showing that the U.K. economy narrowly avoided falling into a recession in the fourth quarter.

Gross domestic product held steady in the final quarter of 2022, as expected, after shrinking 0.2 percent in the third quarter, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics.

In December, GDP fell 0.5 percent, following a 0.1 percent rise in November. In 2022, GDP grew 4.0 percent, following a 7.6 percent increase in 2021.

The pan European STOXX 600 dropped 0.6 percent to 49.53 after three consecutive sessions of gains.

The German DAX was down 0.6 percent, France’s CAC 40 index eased 0.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent.

Adidas slumped nearly 11 percent. The German footwear maker has warned of an operating loss of as much as €700 million in 2023 from the fallout over its dispute with rapper and former partner Ye. PUMA SE shares were down more than 3 percent.

Healthcare group Fresenius fell over 2 percent, a day after confirming it was exploring steps to relinquish control of its dialysis subsidiary.

Bermuda-based insurer Lancashire Holdings tumbled almost 3 percent after it reported loss before tax of $2.8 million for its fiscal 2022.

British online fashion retailer ASOS plunged 5.5 percent after appointing Sean Glithero as interim CFO.

Saga shares jumped 4.5 percent. Responding to recent media coverage, the holiday group confirmed that it is in exclusive discussions with Open Insurance Technologies Pty Ltd regarding a possible sale of Acromas Insurance Co. Ltd.

Standard Chartered lost nearly 5 percent after First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender, said it was not currently evaluating a buyout offer.

Bouygues fell 1.5 percent in Paris. Its affiliate Bouygues Telecom said it disputes the ruling by the Paris Commercial Court ordering the company to pay Free Mobile 308 million euros in damages.

Swedish defense equipment maker Saab soared 9 percent after it reported a rise in fourth-quarter operating profit and lifted dividend.

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