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European Shares Mixed As Inflation Worries Persist

stockmarkets jan04 24feb21 lt

European stocks were mixed on Wednesday as concerns over high valuations and possible rise in inflation persisted.

Positive data from Germany and signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve would continue its fiscal policy support helped to limit losses, if any.

The German economy grew more than initially estimated in the fourth quarter, revised data from Destatis showed.

Gross domestic product grew 0.3 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter instead of 0.1 percent estimated previously. However, this was much slower than the 8.5 percent rebound seen in the third quarter.

On a yearly basis, the decline in GDP slowed to 3.7 percent from 4 percent.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was little changed at 411.23 after closing 0.4 percent lower on Tuesday. The German DAX edged up 0.4 percent, while France's CAC 40 index was down 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped half a percent.

German sportswear company Puma slumped 4.2 percent. The company said it expects the negative impact from Covid-19 to continue through the first and parts of the second quarter.

Telefonica Deutschland fell 1.2 percent despite the telecommunications company returning to profit in the fourth quarter and posting higher revenue year-on-year.

Europe's largest hotel chain Accor edged up slightly despite reporting an annual loss.

AstraZeneca declined 1.4 percent. According to Reuters, the company told the European Union that it expects to deliver less than half the Covid-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply in the second quarter.

Reckitt Benckiser edged down slightly after it took a further 985 million-pound goodwill impairment on the infant formula business.

Lloyds Banking rallied 2.2 percent as it beat forecasts with a pretax profit of 792 million pounds ($1.1 billion) in its fourth quarter.

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