European markets close higher on earnings; investors monitor Russian gas supplies; StanChart up 13%

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed higher by 0.4%, with autos, travel and tech stocks leading gains as most sectors and major bourses finished in positive territory. Basic resources bucked the upward trend to shed 1.6%.

There has been a mixed trade this week with fears persisting over Ukraine and energy supplies to the region following Russia’s decision to halt gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria.

Gazprom told both countries that it was halting supplies because they had refused to pay for the gas in rubles, as Moscow demanded recently. The move pushed European gas prices higher and the euro lower, with the single currency falling to a five-year low against the dollar.

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On Wall Street Thursday, the Nasdaq Composite inched higher following a strong earnings report from Meta Platforms.

Earnings in focus
In another busy day for earnings in Europe, Sanofi, TotalEnergies, HelloFresh, Banco Sabadell, Barclays, Sainsbury’s, Standard Chartered and Unilever were among the companies reporting Thursday.

Barclays beat earnings expectations on the back of a strong showing from its corporate and investment banking division due to market volatility in the first quarter, but said it had suspended its planned share buyback program on the back of a costly trading error in the U.S. The bank’s shares gained 3.2% by mid-afternoon.

Standard Chartered surged more than 13% after a strong earnings report, while Swiss software group Temenos jumped more than 16% after Bloomberg reported that it had received a takeover approach from private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

At the bottom of the European blue-chip index, Swedish cloud computing company Sinch plunged more than 21% after its quarterly results.

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