Equity markets in Western Europe fell on Thursday on the back of corporate reports and statistical data. The composite index of the largest companies in the Stoxx Europe 600 region by the end of the session fell by 0.75% and amounted to 424.4 points. Since the beginning of the year, the indicator has lost 13%. The German DAX index fell by 0.64%, the French CAC 40 – by 1%, the British FTSE 100 – by 1.56%. The Italian FTSE MIB and the Spanish IBEX shed 0.67% and 1.35%, respectively. As it became known on Thursday, the UK economy in the first quarter increased by 0.8% compared with the previous three months. Analysts on average expected a 1% increase, according to Trading Economics. The country’s economy in January-March increased by 8.7% compared to the same period in 2021 after rising by 6.6% in the third quarter. The average forecast of experts for this indicator was 9%. Investors are still evaluating the US inflation data released the day before. As reported, the growth rate of consumer prices in the United States in April slowed down to 8.3% from the March level of 8.5%, a record for 40 years, but was higher than market expectations (8.1%). On Thursday, shares of European manufacturers of luxury goods fell sharply. Hermes lost 2%, Kering lost 2.3% and Louis Vuitton lost 1.3%. Quotations of UniCredit securities climbed almost 3% after a jump of 10% the day before, when it became known that the Italian banking group began preliminary negotiations to sell a subsidiary bank in Russia. Negotiations with potential buyers are at an early stage, in addition to selling UniCredit, other options are still being considered, Bloomberg wrote. Shares of RWE AG fell 3.8%. The German energy company more than doubled its adjusted net income in the first quarter of 2022 and confirmed its full-year forecast, despite significant write-downs due to the cessation of coal imports from Russia. The price of Siemens AG securities fell by 2.5%. Europe’s largest industrial conglomerate recorded a halving in net income in the last quarter, largely due to write-offs in connection with Russian business. Capitalization of Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC increased by 1%. The British aircraft engine manufacturer said its early 2022 financial results were in line with its targets, which led the company to reaffirm its full-year guidance. Papers of the German pharmaceutical Merck collapsed by 5.6%. The company recorded an 18% increase in net income in the first quarter, but the figure fell short of analysts’ expectations. Capitalization of Europe’s largest insurance company Allianz decreased by 3.3%. In its financial statements for the past quarter, the company reflected a sharp decline in net income due to the creation of significant provisions to cover legal costs. In addition, Allianz announced a high probability of leaving the Russian market, and in this case, the insurer expects to record a one-time loss of 400-500 million euros. The share price of British telecommunications BT Group PLC fell 1.1%. The company’s fiscal 2022 revenue fell 2.3%, more than expected, while pre-tax profit growth fell short of analysts’ expectations. Source: FINMARKET.RU

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