PARIS: European shares fell on Friday, hurt by higher bond yields, as hawkish comments from the US Federal Reserve Chair doused investor optimism that interest rates have peaked, while dour results from Diageo and Richemont also weighed.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 1.0% lower, easing from a three-week high hit on Thursday, and ending the week marginally lower.

Basic resources and real estate were the worst weekly sector performers, while media and industrials were the focus of investors’ buying spree.

Fed officials including Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday expressed uncertainty on their battle against inflation and added that they would tighten policy further if needed.

“Markets are sort of focusing on the more hawkish messaging from Powell, but he just stressed there could be further hikes, nothing different from what he has said before,” said Giles Coghlan, chief market analyst at brokerage GCFX.

Euro zone inflation could tick up in the coming months but European Central Bank interest rates being held at their current level at least for several quarters could still get price growth back to 2%, said ECB President Christine Lagarde.

The comments follow European Central Bank and Bank of England policymakers also recently pushing back against expectations around rate cuts.

On the earnings front, Diageo tanked 12.2% as the Johnnie Walker whisky maker expects organic operating profit growth to decline in the first-half of its current financial year, dragging the food and beverage sector index down nearly 3.1%.

Richemont slid 5.2% after the Swiss luxury group reported weaker-than-expected earnings, pulling down rivals LVMH , Kering and Hermes between 1.6% and 3.8%.

The luxury sector shed 2.6%.

Scor lost 3.5% after the French reinsurance company’s third-quarter net income missed expectations.

On the flip side, GN Store Nord jumped 11.0% to top the STOXX 600 as the Danish hearing aid and audio solutions maker targeted further cost savings from its reorganisation, after in-line third-quarter results.

Investors also sized up economic data amid growing evidence of an impending recession.

Fresh data showed Italian industrial output was flat in September month-on-month, reflecting overall weakness in the euro zone’s third largest economy.

Another survey showed Norway’s core inflation rate rose more than expected in October, adding pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates next month.


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