European shares set for worst week in three months, Siemens Energy plunges
By Shreyashi Sanyal
(Reuters) -European shares dipped on Friday at the end of a central bank policy-packed week that reinforced views that interest rates could stay higher for longer, while shares of Siemens Energy plunged as it withdrew its annual profit outlook.
The STOXX 600 index edged 0.1% lower.
The index has lost 2.7% for the week so far, heading for its worst weekly performance in over three months, as investors digested more interest rate hikes from major central banks including the Bank of England, Norges Bank and Swiss National Bank, and the spectre of elevated inflation for longer.
Investors also worried about the impact of protracted tightening cycles on global economic recovery, with concerns of a recession in the UK heightening after the BoE’s larger-than-expected 50-basis-point rate hike.
“The biggest was the dawning realisation for investors that central banks are set to keep hiking rates into the second half of the year,” Deutsche Bank strategists Jim Reid said.
“So investors were left with plenty of bad news to digest, with little sign of any positive near-term catalysts.”
Germany’s DAX index dropped 0.7%, leading losses among regional peers as shares of Siemens Energy sank 31.6%.
The company, which supplies equipment and services to the power sector, warned that the impact of quality problems at its Siemens Gamesa wind turbine unit would be felt for years.
The European oil & gas index slid 1.6% to lead sectoral falls, while healthcare stocks jumped 1.1%.
GSK Plc shares rose 5.4% after it reached a confidential settlement of a U.S. litigation over claims that the British drugmaker’s heartburn drug Zantac caused cancer.
The basic resources index fell for the seventh straight session, tracking weekly declines of 6.8%. It was the worst performer for the week.
A survey showed euro zone business growth virtually stalled this month as the downturn in manufacturing deepened while activity in the bloc’s dominant services industry barely expanded, while a separate reading showed German business activity slowed notably this month.
French business activity contracted in June for the first time in five months, data showed.
“The country breakdown shows that activity growth slowed sharply in Germany while output fell outright in France. So the recent resilience in France might not last much longer,” economists at Capital Economics wrote in a note.
Meanwhile, data showed Britain’s economy showed signs of a slowdown this month and inflation pressures stayed high.
Stock exchanges in Stockholm and Helsinki were closed on Friday.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; editing by Eileen Soreng)