European shares end fourth week lower with tech, autos slammed
(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* STOXX tracks worst month since October 2020
* Retail stocks outperform
* France sees robust growth in 2021; Germany contracts in Q4 (Updates)
By Anisha Sircar
Jan 28 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Friday, with the STOXX 600 index down for the fourth straight week as auto and technology stocks led declines amid the prospect of higher interest rates and concern over the situation in Russia and Ukraine.
The pan-European index .STOXX shed 1.0%, paring some losses after falling as much as 2% earlier in the day. The index lost 1.8% this week, marking its worst performance in over two months.
Euro zone bond yields rose following the hawkish message that emerged from the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting earlier this week.
"There's a whole lot to make investors nervous at the moment, and today seems to be the day European markets are really waking up to what the Fed's increasingly hawkish stance will mean for all that cash sloshing around," AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson said.
Russia on Friday sent its strongest signal so far that it is willing to engage with U.S. security proposals and reiterated that it does not want war over Ukraine.
"As we're approaching the weekend, a lot could happen in relation to the situation on the Ukrainian border and Russian troops," David Madden, market analyst at Equiti Capital, said.
"The fear is that stock markets are closed for a 48-hour period, and what happens as tensions get ratcheted up in that timeframe is a huge deal."
The top sectoral decliner, technology .SX8P , fell 1.7%, tracking its worst month since 2008.
Adding to the gloom, euro zone economic sentiment deteriorated in January, pulled down by a more downbeat sentiment in the industry and services sectors.
Meanwhile, France posted its strongest growth in over five decades last year, hitting 7%, as the euro zone's second-biggest economy bounced back from the COVID-19 crisis faster than expected, data showed.
However, the German economy, Europe's largest, contracted more than expected in the fourth quarter of last year as pandemic-related restrictions hampered activity.
Auto stocks .SXAP skidded 1.8%, with shares in Volvo VOLVb.ST falling 3.5% after the Swedish truck maker reported lower fourth-quarter core earnings and proposed a smaller-than-expected dividend.
Luxury goods maker LVMH LVMH.PA rose 3.2% after saying quarterly sales growth accelerated, while Signify NV LIGHT.AS , the world's largest lighting maker, jumped 11.0% after reporting higher quarterly earnings.
Sweden's H&M HMb.ST gained 5.1% after the fashion retailer posted a bigger profit rise than expected for the September-November period.
Home appliances maker Electrolux ELUXb.ST dropped 3.5% after saying global supply chain issues will linger and reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit.
Reporting by Anisha Sircar, Susan Mathew and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli, Shounak Dasgupta and Hugh Lawson
Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.
All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.
Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.