European stocks were mostly higher, apparently taking inspiration from a rally on Wall Street the day before after less hawkish than expected comments from the head of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell.
However, as of Wednesday, Wall Street was on the back foot, even as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman John Williams seemed to sound only a mildly hawkish note, despite saying monetary policy should be “enough restrictive” for “a few years”.
The pan-regional Stoxx 600 index rose 0.28% to 459.46, with most regional stock markets higher.
Spain’s Ibex 35 gained 0.60% to 9,227.30 and Germany’s Dax climbed 0.60% to 15,412.05, but France’s Cac-40 fell 0.18% to 7,119, 83.
Markets have been jittery lately after a US jobs report last week fueled fears of rising inflation and a prolonged run of interest rate hikes.
In stock news, Adyen Shares plunged after the Dutch payments company reported second-half earnings that missed estimates, weighed down by a hiring surge that contrasts with growing job cuts in the tech industry.
Shares in AP Moller-Maersk slipped as the shipping giant predicted a slump in profits and warned of a contraction in global trade as the boom in container traffic, triggered by shortages created after the Covid pandemic, was glossed over.
Packing group Kappa Smurf fell despite lifting its dividend and declaring an increase in its annual profits. Shares of its industry peer, Mondi, also fell.
french bank Societe Generale was down after posting a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, but set aside more money for bad debt.
Jeweler pandora shone by publishing fourth quarter results at the top of the forecast range.
British manufacturer Barrat rose despite a 9% cut in its interim dividend and a bleak outlook for the sector as mortgage costs rise.