PARIS: European shares ended higher on Wednesday as positive earnings from the luxury goods sector and strong commodity prices helped investors momentarily look past concerns over rising interest rates.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.2% up after falling 1% in the prior session.
Mining stocks were the best performers for the day, up 2.7% as iron ore prices surged on signs of more stimulus in major importer China.
The STOXX 600 had hit a one-week low in the previous session, as rising bond yields slammed heavyweight technology stocks on both sides of the Atlantic.
Broader equity markets had also wilted on the prospect of an end to pandemic-era monetary policy, which had flushed the market with cash and driven stocks to record highs.
U.S. Treasury yields held near two-year highs, while the German 10-year yield rose above 0% for the first time since May 2019 as investors braced for tighter U.S. monetary policy, with the European Central Bank also expected to follow suit.
Investors are pricing in a much faster rate-hike cycle in the United States, while concerns persist over the pandemic’s impact on supply chains, said Philipp Lisibach, chief global strategist at Credit Suisse.
Economists polled by Reuters also expect euro zone inflation to burn hotter throughout 2022.
“Fourth-quarter earnings are going to be decent, but it’ll be important to understand how companies cope with higher input prices, particularly energy prices and wages,” Lisibach said.
STOXX 600 companies are expected to post a 48.6% year-on-year rise in fourth-quarter profit to 109 billion euros ($123.6 billion), a marginal uptick from a prior estimate of 48.5%, Refinitiv data showed.
Retail stocks jumped 1.7% and personal and household stocks added 2.2% on Wednesday after a slew of encouraging earnings.
Cartier owner Richemont climbed 5.2% as the world’s second-largest luxury group said robust demand for its jewellery and watches in the Americas and Europe helped quarterly sales rise by nearly a third. Other luxury stocks including LVMH, Kering and Hermes rose between 1.6% to 3.7%, lifting France’s blue-chip CAC 40 index.