European stocks edge higher as investors watch data, earnings and delta variant; Ericsson down 8%
- Earnings season is also beginning in earnest in Europe, with Richemont, Rio Tinto and Ericsson the big names reporting on Friday, while Burberry issued a first-quarter trading update.
- European investors will be watching June's euro zone harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) reading, due at 10 a.m. London time.
- Ericsson shares dropped more than 8% in early trade, as a decline in sales in mainland China led the Swedish telecoms giant to deliver core earnings slightly below market estimates.
LONDON — European stocks inched higher on Friday as investors monitored economic data, corporate earnings and the spread of the delta Covid-19 variant.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.3% in early trade, with travel and leisure stocks climbing 1.2% to lead gains while basic resources dropped 0.9%.
Shares in Asia-Pacific mostly fell overnight as the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged and downgraded its real GDP forecast for 2021 to 3.8% growth, compared with the 4% growth projection made in April.
U.S. stock futures were roughly flat in early premarket trade as Wall Street pored over its first major week of second-quarter corporate earnings.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Thursday that she foresees several more months of higher inflation, but expects the red hot readings to temper down over time.
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European investors will be watching June's euro zone harmonized index of consumer price reading, due at 10 a.m. London time, for an indication of whether inflationary pressures across the bloc are running in line with the European Central Bank's expectations.
A surge in Covid-19 cases across the continent caused by the highly-transmissible delta variant continues to weigh on investor sentiment, with several major European countries forced to reimplement social restrictions, while the U.K. will take the gamble of removing its last layer of safeguards from Monday.
Earnings in focus
Earnings season is also beginning in earnest in Europe, with Richemont, Rio Tinto and Ericsson the big names reporting on Friday, while Burberry issued a promising first-quarter trading update.
Ericsson shares plunged 8.7% in early trade, as a decline in sales in mainland China led the Swedish telecoms giant to deliver core earnings slightly below market estimates.
At the top of the Stoxx 600, Swedish cloud computing firm Sinch surged more than 11% after a robust earnings report.
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