European Shares Edge Higher As Eurozone Inflation Holds Steady

European stocks traded mostly higher on Thursday amid hopes that the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its tightening cycle.

China reported downbeat PMI data, adding pressure on policymakers to roll out more stimulus measures.

Investors shrugged off official data showing that German retail sales declined more than expected in July on falling food turnover.

Retail sales fell 2.2 percent on a yearly basis in July compared to economists’ forecast of 1.0 percent decrease – Destatis said.

On a monthly basis, retail sales slid 0.8 percent in July, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.3 percent.

Eurozone inflation remained unchanged at 5.3 percent in August, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced today, while the region’s jobless rate stayed stable at 6.4 percent in July.

The pan European STOXX 600 rose 0.3 percent to 460.41 after declining 0.2 percent on Wednesday.

The German DAX climbed 0.7 percent and France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.2 percent while the U.K.’ FTSE 100 was marginally lower.

Swiss banking major UBS Group AG jumped 5.6 percent after it posted significantly higher profit in its second quarter primarily reflecting a $29 billion negative goodwill on the acquisition of Credit Suisse Group, as well as higher revenues.

Building materials supplier Grafton Group rallied 2.5 percent in London after it lifted dividend and announced a new share buyback program for up to 50.0 million pounds.

Sportswear group Frasers rose about 1 percent after raising its stake in online fashion retailer Boohoo to 9.1 percent from 7.8 percent. Shares of the latter advanced 1.2 percent.

French drug manufacturer Sanofi edged up slightly after shuffling its executive committee.

Pernod Ricard lost more than 4 percent. The spirits giant warned that sales would decline in the key Chinese and U.S. markets in the first quarter through September.

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