Friday, March 24, 2023

European Equities Close Lower Despite Growing Business Confidence in Germany, Belgium

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All of Europe’s major indices closed Wednesday trading in the red, tracking Wall Street, despite data showing growing optimism in the region.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.29%, London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.16%, the Swiss Market Index edged down 0.01%, France’s CAC 40 lost 01% and Germany’s DAX was 0.1% lower.

Ifo Institute’s closely watched business and sentiment indicators signaled a good start to the year for Germany. The January business expectations and business climate indexes both climbed up month over month but the current assessment index edged down.

However, analysts still remain cautious on Europe’s biggest economy despite consecutive upbeat data that suggest it may be able to avoid a recession. “Not falling off the cliff is one thing, staging a strong rebound, however, is a different matter. And there are very few signs pointing to a healthy recovery of the German economy any time soon,” ING wrote in a note. “Germany’s economic outlook for this year looks complicated, to say the least, with an unprecedentedly high number of uncertainties and developments in opposing directions.”

In other data news, France’s jobseekers count in December 2022 increased from the 11-year low seen in November 2022 and the National Bank of Belgium’s business confidence index improved month over month in January 2022.

The British Office for National Statistics said producer price inflation in December 2022 fell on a monthly basis, led by other parts and equipment and petroleum products.

In corporate news, German shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd hopes to expand further in India and in the terminal and infrastructure market via an up to 40% stake in J M Baxi Ports & Logistics. Financial details were not disclosed and the stock plunged 7.55% on the Frankfurt bourse.

On the flip side, ASML added 0.19% on the Dutch bourse after the semiconductor company said it expects FY23 net sales to grow by a quarter. Its FY22 profit fell and sales increased but both surpassed consensus estimates.

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