Europe midday: Shares slip into red on UK inflation, eurozone GDP data

By Frank Prenesti

European shares slipped into the red by midday on Wednesday as UK inflation had breached the 10% mark and eurozone second-quarter growth was revised downwards.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.33% with all major markets lower.

UK inflation hit a fresh 40-year high in July and surpassed analysts’ expectations as food and energy prices jumped, according to data released on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics.

Consumer price inflation rose to 10.1% from 9.4% in June. This marked the highest rate since February 1982 and was above analysts’ expectations of 9.8%.

Core inflation, which strips out food and energy costs, increased to 6.2% from 5.8% a month earlier, coming in above forecasts of 5.9%.

Food inflation rose in July to 12.6% – its highest rate since August 2008 – from 9.8%.

“A wide range of price rises drove inflation up again this month. Food prices rose notably, particularly bakery products, dairy, meat and vegetables, which was also reflected in higher takeaway prices,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.

In the eurozone economic growth was revised downwards slightly from initial estimates for the second quarter, but was still strong, according to revised data from the European statistics office Eurostat.

Gross domestic product in 19-country single currency zone rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in April-June for a 3.9% year-on-year rise. The office had previously estimated the quarterly growth at 0.7% and the year-on-year rise at 4.0%.

Eurostat also said that euro zone employment rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter for a 2.4% year-on-year increase.

In equity news, shares in Ladbrokes owner Entain fell after the company was fined £17m by the UK Gambling Commission for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.

Shares in movie theatre chain Cineworld slumped 38% as the company said it was mulling a restructure of its finances after a lack of blockbuster films from Hollywood had hit ticket sales.

Tecan Group rose 10% as the Swiss lab instrument maker lifted its full-year sales outlook.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti at Sharecast.com

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