U.K. retail data indicated a 0.9 per cent decline in sales volumes for March, lower than predictions of a 0.5 per cent drop
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.1 per cent lower at 9:30 a.m. in London, with leading bourses in the red. Sectors were mainly lower, with mining stocks 2.5 per cent lower. Health care stocks jumped 0.9 per cent.
Auto stocks declined 3.7 per cent on Thursday as Tesla’s decline in net income and declaration of more price cuts spooked the market.
German software company SAP on Friday reported more revenue and operating profit, higher than a consensus prediction from the firm. It amended annual profit guidance lower because of a divestment.
Holcim, the Swiss building materials maker, saw an increase in revenue and profit that was more than expectated and lifted its guidance.
Flash purchasing managers’ index figures from S&P Global and Hamburg Commercial Bank indicated the quickest growth in France’s private sector since May last year, however this was driven by services and factory output dropped. Germany’s business upsurge was also driven by services, however manufacturing yield rose modestly.
U.K. retail data indicated a 0.9 per cent decline in sales volumes for March, lower than predictions of a 0.5 per cent drop, which retailers blamed in part on the unexpectedly wet weather. Consumer confidence rose, a broadly followed GfK study indicated, though the authors noted ongoing concerns among consumers about their personal financial circumstances.
U.K. inflation figures earlier in the week were higher than anticipated, with headline inflation at 10.1 per cent and food and non-alcoholic beverages 19.2 per cent higher than that in 2023.
Investors are also focussing on monetary policy meetings to be held in May, wherein the Federal Reserve and BoE are broadly anticipated to approve another interest rate raise before stopping. Comments from ECB policymakers indicated they may continue past that, with its president, Christine Lagarde, stating on Thursday the ECB still has a little more to go to bring back inflation toward its 2 per cent goal.