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European shares stage comeback on earnings cheer after Monday's rout

·2-min read
German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

By Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) -European shares recovered some lost ground on Tuesday following their worst sell-off since June 2020, after upbeat earnings reports from Ericsson and Logitech provided support.

The top European stock index gained 0.7% after shedding 3.8% in the previous session on fears about aggressive monetary policy tightening moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the potential for military conflict in Ukraine.

"We're in a world where most players in the market have never witnessed a rising rate environment. All they've had is the Fed pumping liquidity in, and now it's a shock for the participants," said Keith Temperton, sales trader at Forte Securities.

Investors expect the Fed to signal on Wednesday that it plans to raise rates in March after slashing borrowing costs to near-zero soon after the onset of the pandemic nearly two years ago.

Fed funds futures, which track short-term rate expectations, have priced in a total of four rate increases this year, as the central bank fights to stem soaring inflation.

Rate-sensitive banking stocks were the top gainers in Europe, up 2.9%, while stabilizing commodity prices helped lift sectors including basic materials and energy.

Geopolitical turmoil, along with expectations of a hawkish stance from the Fed, is likely to keep volatility high, said Thomas Hempell, head of macro & market research at Generali Investments, but the recent selloff may ultimately offer buying opportunities.

"The pace of the global expansion is overall still consistent with modest upside for equities."

In earnings-driven moves, Swiss computer peripherals-maker Logitech International gained 6.2% after raising its earnings forecast for the current fiscal year.

Sweden's Ericsson jumped 7.6% as it reported fourth-quarter core earnings above market estimates, helped by higher sales of telecoms gear with more countries rolling out 5G networks.

Credit Suisse slipped 0.9% to hit a 20-month low after the scandal-hit lender warned it was likely to report a net loss in the fourth quarter as it flagged fresh legal costs and said business in its trading and wealth management divisions had slowed.

Watchmaker Swatch Group slipped 3.9% even as it forecast double-digit sales growth in local currencies this year.

Analysts expect profit for STOXX 600 companies to grow 51.0% in the fourth quarter, as per data from Refinitiv IBES, with energy, basic materials, industrial and financial sectors likely to see the biggest growth.

Tech stocks extended declines with a 1.1% drop, falling to near eight-month lows.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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