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European shares up on energy boost, but inflation caps gains

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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By Anisha Sircar and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) -European shares rose on Thursday with a boost from oil stocks, but lagged other major markets as euro zone inflation reached a record high in July and European Central Bank officials hinted at another large rate hike next month.

The continent-wide STOXX 600 ended 0.4% higher, lifted by a 1.7% gain for energy stocks after crude futures rose more than $1. [O/R]

“Oil and gas stocks have enjoyed a welcome boost today, following a period of weakness in crude prices,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at online trading platform IG.

Consumer prices in the euro zone rose 0.1% month-on-month in July for a 8.9% year-on-year increase, the highest since the euro was created in 1999, EU’s statistics office confirmed.

Of the total, 4.02 percentage points came from more expensive energy, the costs of which surged because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier, ECB board member Isabel Schnabel said the region’s inflation outlook had failed to improve since the rate hike in July and suggested another big rate increase next month.

The comments pushed Germany’s 10-year yield up 5 basis points to a near four-week high. [GVD/EUR]

Governing Council member Martins Kazaks echoed Schnabel’s views in a separate interview, according to a news report.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve’s July meeting minutes also provided little comfort over the pace of U.S. interest rate hikes.

“The ECB has a lot of catch-up to do, but their bark is going to be worse than their bite because they’re constrained by the Transmission Protection Instrument (TPI) – if borrowing costs surge too high too quickly, that could lead to a debt crisis,” said David Madden, market analyst at Equiti Capital.

The TPI is a bond purchase scheme aimed at helping more indebted euro zone countries.

Money markets are now fully pricing in a half percentage point ECB move in September and a 35% chance of a bigger 75-basis point move. [GVD/EUR]

Meanwhile, Norway’s central bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points and said more hikes were in the pipeline.

Among stocks, Rockwool tumbled 8.3% after the Danish stone-wool manufacturer cut its 2022 margin guidance on soaring energy prices.

Adyen dropped 3.7% after the Dutch payment processor missed core earnings expectations for the first half of 2022.

Siegfried jumped 15.7% after the Swiss pharmaceutical company beat first-half expectations and raised its 2022 outlook.

(Reporting by Anisha Sircar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Tomasz Janowski)