Stock markets in Western Europe fell on the basis of trading on Wednesday ahead of the meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB). The results of the ECB meeting will be summed up today. As expected, at this meeting, the regulator will announce plans to stop buying assets and raise the rate to a non-zero level for the first time in eight years. Earlier this was stated by the head of the ECB Christine Lagarde. The rate hike is needed to contain inflation in the euro area, which reached a record 8.1% in annual terms in May, according to preliminary data from the European Union Statistics Office. Inflation is over four times the 2% target. Meanwhile, industrial production in Germany rose 0.7% in April compared to the previous month, according to data from the country’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Analysts expected a more significant increase in the indicator – by 1%, according to Trading Economics. The economies of the 19 eurozone countries expanded by 0.6% in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter, final data from the European Union Statistical Office (Eurostat) showed. A 0.3% gain was previously reported, and analysts on average did not expect a revision to the preliminary estimate. In addition, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has lowered its forecast for global economic growth in 2022 to 3% from the previous estimate of 4.5%. In 2023, global GDP is expected to increase by 2.75%. The composite index of the largest companies in the region Stoxx Europe 600 fell by 0.57% and amounted to 440.37 points. The German DAX index lost 0.76%, the French CAC 40 – 0.8%, the British FTSE 100 – 0.08%. The Italian FTSE MIB fell 0.53%. Meanwhile, the Spanish IBEX 35 gained 0.01%. Shares of France’s Pernod Ricard SA fell 2.5%. One of the world’s largest spirits producers has set targets for the next few years as it seeks to achieve sustainable revenue growth amid heavy spending on promotion and data usage. The decline leaders among the Stoxx Europe 600 components were shares of low-cost carrier Wizz Air (-9.5%), as well as logistics companies Moeller-Maersk (-8%) and Kuehne & Nagel Group (-7.25%). Spanish Industria de Diseno Textil SA (Inditex), one of the world’s largest clothing retailers, increased its net profit in the first financial quarter by 1.8 times, revenue – by 36%. The company’s shares rose by 6.4%. SAS AB added 0.6%. The Scandinavian airline carried 1.826 million passengers in May, up 18% from the previous month. Among the growth leaders were papers Melrose Industries (+11%), Aveva Group (+10.7%) and Prosus NV (+8.2%). Source: FINMARKET.RU

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