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European stocks find support at end of volatile week

by wrich

(Reuters) -European shares rose on Friday, as sentiment stabilised at the end of a volatile week dominated by worries about aggressive monetary policy tightening and slowing global growth.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.3%, with banks and technology stocks leading early gains.

Global markets, particularly U.S. stocks, have gyrated wildly this week as investors feared that tightening financial conditions, with the Federal Reserve preparing for a series of interest rate hikes to contain a surge in inflation, will tip the economy into recession. [.N]

Fed Chair Jerome Powell repeated on Thursday his expectation that the Fed will raise interest rates by half a percentage point at each of its next two policy meetings, easing worries about a bigger 75 basis point rate hike that some investors were expecting.

Despite Friday’s gains so far, the STOXX 600 is set to post its fifth consecutive weekly decline.

“The risks are to the downside with huge jump in economic uncertainty and large real disposable income shocks for households,” Deutsche Bank economists said in a note.

“Recession risk is rising. Ukraine war is the main concern in 2022. The main concern in 2023 is combined ECB/Fed tightening.”

Among individual stocks, Deutsche Telekom edged 0.7% higher, after it raised its annual earnings guidance.

Wind turbine maker Vestas dropped 4.4%, after Berenberg downgraded the stock to “hold”.

French care home group Orpea, which faces criminal complaints over how it runs its centres and treats its elderly residents, dropped 4.7% after saying that it would not pay a dividend on 2021 earnings.

Norwegian Air edged up 0.5%, as the airline posted a quarterly loss and said the surge in fuel costs would partly offset the effects of increased summer bookings.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)

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