LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Friday, marking a positive week as fears over monetary policy tightening eased slightly.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 tentatively closed up 1.5%, with tech stocks adding 3.2% to lead the gains as most sectors and major exchanges moved into positive territory.
Looking at individual stocks, Richemont climbed almost 10% to the top of the Stoxx 600. The Swiss luxury goods maker saw its shares fall sharply after its annual results last week.
In contrast to the benchmark, the British chemical company Johnson Matthey fell nearly 7% after agreeing to sell most of its battery materials division to Australia’s EV Metals.
European markets closed higher on Thursday, benefiting from a boost after British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced a series of measures to tackle the country’s cost of living crisis, including a so- saying “windfall tax” on the profits of oil and gas giants.
Thursday also marked the end of the World Economic Forum, where the world’s leading financiers, politicians and businesses gathered in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss issues facing the global economy. Some bleak forecasts have been put forward, particularly for Europe, which many economists see as vulnerable to recession.
On Wall Street, US stocks rose with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track to break an eight-day losing streak.
New data showed that the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge fell slightly in April. The price index for basic personal consumption expenditure rose 4.9%, down from 5.2% a month earlier.
Markets also remain alert to the conflict in Ukraine, with a US official saying Russia is making “gradual progress” in the Donbass region.
Russia’s Defense Ministry overnight claimed it would allow foreign ships to leave Black Sea and Sea of Azov ports, according to state news agency Interfax, amid concerns growing concerns about rising world food prices.
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