Europe open: Stocks recover some poise; H&M dips on results

By Michele Maatouk

European stocks rose in early trade on Thursday, regaining some poise after recent losses.
At 0900 BST, the benchmark Stoxx 600 index was up 0.3%, Germany’s DAX was up 0.4% and France’s CAC 40 was 0.1% higher.

Stocks had fallen in the previous two sessions after a hotter-than-expected US inflation print for August fuelled expectations of another big rate hike from the US Federal Reserve.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “After all the drama around high inflation rates in recent sessions, pockets of Asian and European markets managed to push ahead on Thursday.”

In equity markets, Swedish retailer H&M edged down after it reported lower-than-expected third-quarter sales.

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: “H&M reported third quarter net sales up 3% to 57.5 billion crowns, however this was below analysts’ expectations for a 5% increase.

“Unlike its rival Inditex, which owns Zara, H&M has been struggling to navigate the macroeconomic challenges of rising cost inflation, supply problems and squeezed household budgets. The extent to which these headwinds are weighing on the business will become clear in its full-year earnings on 29th September.

“Shares in H&M have slumped more than 35% this year alone and longer-term, investors have had a tough time with the stock which has shed almost 50% over the past five years.”

Elsewhere, German energy company Uniper rallied as it announced it is in talks over increasing the German government’s stake from 30% to 50%.

Oil and gas giant Shell ticked higher after it said that company veteran Wael Sawan will succeed chief executive Ben van Beurden as he steps down from the role at the end of 2022 following a 39-year career with the group. It was reported earlier this month that van Beurden would be leaving.

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