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European Shares Struggle For Direction Amid Lingering Recession Worries

european market 021219 25jan23 lt

European stocks struggled for direction on Wednesday as investors awaited corporate earnings from several U.S. and European companies for directional cues.

Mass layoffs by tech companies, signs of slowing global growth and weak growth outlook from prominent companies fueled fears of a possible recession.

The pan European STOXX 600 was down 0.1 percent at 452.76 after closing 0.2 percent lower on Tuesday.

The German DAX and France's CAC 40 index were marginally lower while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 traded flat with a positive bias.

Swiss drug contract manufacturer Lonza edged down slightly despite delivering strong 2022 performance and announcing a share buyback.

British insurer Aviva rallied 2.7 percent after reiterating its guidance for dividends and capital returns.

Airline EasyJet soared 10 percent as it forecast a return to an annual profit after three years of pandemic losses. Wizz Air shares traded up more than 6 percent.

Russia-focused gold miner Polymetal International slumped 4.6 percent after unveiling its production results for Q4 and FY 2022.

Fresnillo dropped 1.4 percent despite reporting a solid operating result in the fourth quarter.

Alstom SA was up nearly 1 percent in Paris. The rolling stock maker reported that its sales for the third quarter 2022/23 rose to 4.22 billion euros from 3.92 billion euros in third quarter 2021/22.

Jungheinrich AG, a German manufacturer of advanced materials handling equipment, rallied 4.4 percent after announcing that it has signed a deal to buy Indiana-based Storage Solutions group for approximately $375 million.

In economic releases, official data showed that U.K. producer price inflation fell to its lowest rate in almost a year last month.

The corresponding index rose 16.5 percent in the year to December 2022, down from 18 percent in the year to November, and 20.2 percent in the year to October.

Separately, the IFO data from Germany showed that business sentiment improved modestly to hit a seven-month high in January.

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