European stocks fall as investors hesitate

European stocks fell on Friday as concerns over struggling property developer China Evergrande Group (恆大 集團) and weak German business confidence data prompted investors to post profits after a midweek rally .

European sportswear manufacturers Adidas AG, Puma SE and JD Sports Fashion PLC fell around 3% each after US rival Nike Inc lowered its sales guidance for fiscal 2022 and predicted delays during the holiday season due to a tight supply chain.

Retail stocks were the most down in Europe, down 1.7%, while the region-wide STOXX 600 fell 0.9% to 463.29, but a three-day rally took increases the index by 0.31% for the week.

“Equities rallied to take a break early this morning in the face of the likely default of Evergrande,” said Sébastien Galy, senior macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management.

Meanwhile, an Ifo Institute survey showed German business morale fell for a third consecutive month this month, hit by supply chain issues causing a “bottleneck recession.” strangulation ”for manufacturers in Europe’s largest economy.

Germany’s DAX fell 0.72% to 15,531.75, up 0.27% from the week before, ahead of the weekend the country votes to elect German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor.

“Part of the reluctance in European markets could also be blamed on the German election, which promises to be the most interesting in a while,” said Chris Beauchamp, IG’s chief market analyst.

“Markets are facing a change of direction in Germany unlike anything seen in the past decade or more, and the end of Merkel’s tenure promises to be a turning point for the EU and global investors “Beauchamp added.

The benchmark STOXX 600 is poised to end the month in the red after seven straight months of gains, as rising energy prices and supply chain bottlenecks fueled fears of inflation, while major central banks plan to cut COVID-19 stimulus measures.

However, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said in an interview broadcast on CNBC that many of the factors behind a recent spike in inflation in the euro area are temporary and could subside next year. .

London’s FTSE 100 ended lower as fears of slowing global economic growth outweighed gains in health and energy stocks.

It was down 0.38% to 7,051.48, but posted a weekly increase of 1.26%, ending a three-week losing streak.

Retailers, industrial miners and life insurers were the biggest losers.

The FTSE 100 has gained nearly 9.5% so far this year due to rising energy prices and accommodative central bank policies.

However, it significantly underperformed a 17% increase among its European peers.

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