Oil stocks boost European equities

European stocks edged higher on Friday as oil stocks rose on firmer crude prices, although gains were capped by lingering worries about inflation and impending central bank rate hikes.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.4pc after falling almost 2pc in its previous session. Oil stocks led the gains, adding 1.4% to the benchmark after crude prices soared as freezing weather swept across large swaths of the United States, threatening further disruption to oil supplies. oil.

The euro headed for its best week since March 2020 after the European Central Bank acknowledged rising inflationary risks and left the door open for rate hikes this year.

Italy’s biggest bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, edged up 0.7% after posting net profit of 4.2 billion euros in 2021 and said it would carry out a 3.4 share buyback billion euros, in addition to cash dividends of 2.9 billion euros on the results of 2021.

Sanofi shares rose 1.8% after the French drugmaker released upbeat quarterly figures and said it still expected its Covid-19 vaccine to be approved in the first quarter and help drive earnings growth this year.

Dutch navigation and digital mapping firm TomTom plunged 13.9% after the company flagged the prospect of more supply chain constraints in 2022 as it reported a larger quarterly base loss than foreseen.

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Felix J. Dixon