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UPDATE 1-European stocks steady after Tuesday's rout, eyes on U.S. inflation data

05/12/2021 04:51
UPDATE 1-European stocks steady after Tuesday's rout, eyes on U.S. inflation data

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Diageo gains on capital return program

Miners boost UK shares

Commerzbank jumps after forecast lift

Adds comment, updates prices

By Sruthi Shankar

- European stocks steadied on Wednesday after their worst selloff this year as strong earnings reports and signs of a speedy economic recovery offset concerns about a rapid rise in prices.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.2% after falling almost 2% on Tuesday as investors offloaded riskier assets on worries that rising U.S. inflation could lead to tighter monetary policy.

Ample liquidity, a global semiconductor shortage and a recent rally in commodity prices are adding to fears of inflation as developed economies gradually reopen after lockdowns.

All eyes will be on U.S. consumer price data for April that is due later in the day, with analysts expecting a 3.6% lift in year-on-year prices, boosted by last April's low base.

"We suspect that the market knows about it, and is positioned for it," said Marija Veitmane, senior multi-asset strategist at State Street Global Markets.

"What we're not going to get an answer for and is really crucial is whether this increase in prices is transitory as the Fed is telling us or is it something more persistent that market is worried about."

UK's blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE outperformed as data showed Britain's economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 2.1% in March from February. nL8N2MZ209 .L

Miners .SXPP provided the biggest boost, with shares of Glencore GLEN.L, Anglo American AAL.L and Rio Tinto RIO.L gaining about a percent each as commodity prices continued to rally. MET/L

"We have a kind of central bank-sanctioned rally in commodities because they want the economy to run hot. That is great for industrials and materials and those stocks will continue to do well," added Veitmane.

European earnings are now expected to surge 90.2% in the first quarter, as per Refinitiv IBES data, up from a forecast of 83.1% growth last week.

German lender Commerzbank CBKG.DE jumped 7.6% after it beat expectations for first-quarter profit and raised its revenue outlook. nL1N2MZ09Y

Spirits maker Diageo DGE.L rose 3.2% on restarting its capital return program, while Amsterdam-based technology investor Prosus NV PRX.AS gained 1.8% after plans to acquire up to 45.4% of shares in its parent Naspers NPNJn.J. nL4N2MZ1R2 nL1N2MZ0CF

French video games company Ubisoft UBIP.PA fell 7.7% after it warned operating profit might fall this financial year. nL8N2MY6RZ

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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