European Shares Decline On Fed Chief’s Comments

European stocks fell on Friday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell toughened his stance on inflation and Shanghai extended the Covid-19 lockdown to April 26.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he saw merit in “front-end loading” policy moves, including a 50 basis point rate hike at the May FOMC meeting to cool inflation.

The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped 1 percent to 457.02 after gaining 0.3 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX fell 1.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 index gave up 1.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was down half a percent.

Belgian brewer Anheuser Busch Inbev declined 2.7 percent after it warned of over $1 billion hit over sale of its joint venture in Russia.

Mining giant Anglo American fell 2.7 percent, a day after lowering its output guidance.

Ukraine-focused miner Ferrexpo rallied 2.2 percent after it posted a higher annual pretax profit.

EssilorLuxottica shares dropped 1.6 percent despite the eyewear group reporting a sharp rise in first-quarter revenue.

Automaker Renault shed 1 percent after reporting lower Q1 sales.

Luxury group Kering plunged 4.7 percent after reporting slowing growth at the star label Gucci.

SAP lost more than 3 percent after the Germanbusiness software group flagged a 300 million euros ($325.26 million) revenue hit due to its exit from Russia.

Metro AG jumped 4.3 percent. The retailer has increased its outlook for sales and EBITDA for the financial year 2021/22.

TeamViewer, a provider of remote connectivity and workplace digitalization solutions, tumbled 3.8 percent after announcing the appointment of Michael Wilkens as Chief Financial Officer and Board member, effective September 1.

In economic releases, U.K. retail sales dropped 1.4 percent on a monthly basis, largely due to the 7.9 percent fall in non-store retailing, data showed. Sales were forecast to fall 0.3 percent after a revised 0.5 percent decrease posted in February.

Another survey revealed a measure of U.K. consumer confidence dropped to a near historic low in April due to concerns over rising inflation and interest rates dampened household finances. The corresponding index declined to -38 in April from -31 in March.

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