European Markets Close Under Pressure On Friday

The major European markets finished lower on Friday as bourses in Germany and the UK wiped out most the gains in the previous session, while stocks in France ended lower for the third straight session.

The markets continue to struggle with concerns over interest rates following hawkish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who indicated this week that interest rates are likely to rise this year.

For the day, the Germany's DAX tumbled 148.35 points or 0.93 percent to finish at 15,883.24, while London's FTSE slid 20.90 points or 0.28 percent to close at 7,542.95 and the CAC 40 in France sank 58.14 points or 0.81 percent to end at 7,143.00.

In Germany, Delivery Hero plummeted 6.14 percent, while Siemens Aktiengesellschaft plunged 3.72 percent, Bayer Aktiengesellschaft spiked 3.00 percent, Deutsche Bank tanked 2.02 percent, Infineon Technologies tumbled 2.01 percent, Siemens Energy retreated 1.80 percent, Volkswagen climbed 1.60 percent, Deutsche Post dropped 1.28 percent and Deutsche Telekom fell 0.40 percent.

In London, Rightmove tumbled 4.52 percent, while Scottish Mortgage Investment sank 3.39 percent, Auto Trader Group retreated 2.61 percent, British American Tobacco jumped 1.95 percent, Rolls-Royce dropped 1.93 percent, Tesco declined 1.62 percent, Rentokil and Whitbread both shed 1.56 percent, Prudential lost 1.53 percent, Royal Dutch Shell advanced 0.80 percent and Vodafone added 0.42 percent.

In France, Worldline plunged 3.95 percent, while Thales jumped 2.44 percent, L'Oreal tanked 2.42 percent, Schneider Electric sank 2.79 percent, Sanofi climbed 1.91 percent, Vinci gained 1.03 percent, BNP Paribas slumped 0.99 percent, Credit Agricole fell 0.86 percent, Orange improved 0.86 percent, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain slipped 0.54 percent and Societe Generale and Carrefour both eased 0.03 percent.

In economic news, the UK economy expanded at a faster pace in November underpinned by services activity, the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday. Gross domestic product grew 0.9 percent on month, faster than the revised 0.2 percent expansion in October and forecast of 0.4 percent. GDP was estimated to be above its pre-coronavirus pandemic level for the first time, by 0.7 percent.

The German economy expanded in 2021 after shrinking in 2020, data published by Destatis showed on Friday. Gross domestic product grew 2.7 percent in 2021, in contrast to the 4.6 percent decline in the previous year. Calendar-adjusted GDP advanced 2.7 percent in 2021, reversing a 4.9 percent fall in 2020.

The euro area trade balance logged a deficit in November due to higher imports, data from Eurostat showed on Friday. The trade deficit came in at a seasonally adjusted EUR 1.3 billion compared to a surplus of EUR 1.8 billion in October. Exports grew 3 percent on a monthly basis, while imports advanced 4.5 percent in November.

France's consumer prices logged a steady growth in November, as initially estimated, final data from the statistical office Insee showed on Friday. The consumer price index rose 2.8 percent year-on-year, the same as in the previous month and in line with the flash estimate published on January 4.

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