European stocks end at record high on robust earnings

(Reuters) -European stocks closed at a record high on Wednesday following strong earnings from the media and energy sectors, while technology stocks fell as fears of increased competition weighed on popular online food delivery companies.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 9, 2021. REUTERS/Staff

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.2% at 483.76 points, with media and energy stocks among the top gainers. British broadcaster ITV surged 15.1% after it forecast record-high advertising revenue this year.

Siemens spin-off Siemens Energy advanced 3.5% after proposing a 0.10 euros per share dividend on strong free cash flow gains.

“We’ve seen strong earnings which have been fuelling rallies over the last few weeks, but there are concerns about firms’ performance towards the end of the year – how this may start to cede and dampen their ability to push higher if prices continue to rise,” said Daniela Sabin Hathorn, markets analyst at IG.

“Until we see a decisive move from central banks to change rates and show strength on their concerns about taming inflation, equity markets are going to remain strong.”

Profits of companies listed on the STOXX 600 are expected to jump 60.7% in the third quarter to 104.4 billion euros ($120.7 billion) from a year earlier, new Refinitiv data showed, a slight improvement from last week’s 57.2% estimate.

Bank stocks rose 0.5%, tracking a rise in bond yields after data showed U.S. inflation rose more than expected. Precious metal miners also gained as gold prices benefited from increased hedging against inflation. [GVD/EUR] [GOL/]

Technology stocks were the biggest decliners for the day, losing 1.3%. Semiconductor maker Infineon slipped 1.2% even after beating quarterly sales estimates, as investors fretted over a global chip shortage.

Online food delivery stocks HelloFresh and Just Eat Takeaway.com slipped 0.4% and 3.3%, respectively, after U.S. peer DoorDash said it would buy Finland-based rival Wolt Enterprises in a deal valued at about 7 billion euros ($8.09 billion).

British retailer Marks & Spencer surged 16.5% to the top of the STOXX 600 after exceeding first-half profit forecasts and hiking its full-year outlook.

But the overall personal & household goods sector fell 0.4%, dragged down by a 3.7% fall in Adidas after the German sportswear firm trimmed its 2021 forecasts due to sourcing disruptions and a challenging China market.

Luxury stocks, including Kering, Hermes, Moncler, LVMH, and Burberry fell between 1% and 2.5% after data showing a rise in Chinese factory inflation fuelled concerns over stagflation in the country, which is a top buyer of luxury goods.

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