European shares bounce after U.S. inflation data calms nerves

1 min read
German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) -European shares rose on Wednesday in a sharp reversal from earlier in the session with data showing a slower-than-expected rise in U.S. inflation last month providing some relief to investors.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index jumped 0.9%, closing its best session in nearly two weeks.

U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in July due to a sharp drop in the cost of gasoline.

“If the U.S. consumer is feeling more optimistic and has more money in their pocket because inflation back home is not as tricky, then potentially they will be able to spend more across Europe and in the UK and also on those multinational companies that export so much to the U.S.,” said Danni Hewson, Financial Analyst at AJ Bell.

But analysts also noted that even as lower energy prices helped cool inflation in the United States, supply and demand risks painted a dour picture for Europe.

Heat waves and scant rainfall this summer have drained water levels on the Rhine, Germany’s commercial artery, disrupting shipping and pushing freight costs up more than five-fold.

“Unfortunately, the difficulties of sourcing energy from non-Russian sources does mean we could see European gas prices head higher as demand ramps up later into the year,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at online trading platform IG.

Rate-sensitive tech stocks, which were among early decliners, ended 2.4% higher. Other major gainers included miners, retailers and travel & leisure.

The STOXX 600 has struggled this month on worries over gloomy economic data, rising geopolitical tensions and fears that higher interest rates could tip the economy into a recession.

Euro zone money markets now fully price in a half-point interest rate hike by the European Central Bank in September. [GVD/EUR]

Wind turbine maker Vestas jumped 8.8%, making it the best performer on the STOXX 600 after it said it would sell its converters and control panels business to KK Wind Solutions.

Ahold Delhaize gained 7.6% after the Dutch supermarket giant said it was postponing plans for an initial public offering of its non-food retailer, Bol.com, because of unfavourable market conditions.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Johann M. Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Kirsten Donovan)

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