Oil stocks boost European stocks

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February 4 (Reuters)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 .STOXX rose 0.4% after falling almost 2% in its previous session. Oil stocks .SXEP led the gains, adding 1.4% to the benchmark after crude prices soared as freezing weather swept through large swaths of the United States, threatening further disruption to oil supplies. WHERE

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.

The largest bank in Italy Intesa Sanpaolo ISP.MI edged up 0.7% after posting a net profit of 4.2 billion euros in 2021 ($4.8 billion) and announced that it would carry out a share buyback of 3.4 billion euros, in addition to cash dividends of 2.9 billion euros on the results of 2021.

Sanofi shares SASY.PA advanced 1.8% after the French drugmaker released upbeat quarterly figures and said it still expects its COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in the first quarter and help drive growth in profits this year.

Dutch navigation and digital mapping company TomTom TOM2.AS plunged 13.9% after the company flagged the prospect of more supply chain constraints in 2022 as it reported a larger-than-expected quarterly base loss.

(Reporting by Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

((Anisha.Sircar@thomsonreuters.com;))

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Felix J. Dixon