On the way to the winning week

LONDON – European stocks closed higher on Friday, posting a positive week as fears over monetary policy tightening eased slightly.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed 1.5% higher, with technology stocks adding 3.2% to lead gains as most sectors and major stocks entered positive territory.

Looking at individual stocks, Richemont rose nearly 10% to the top of the Stoxx 600. Last week, the Swiss luxury goods maker saw shares fall sharply after its full-year results.

At the opposite end of the benchmark, UK chemical company Johnson Matthey sank almost 7% after agreeing to sell most of its battery materials division to Australia’s EV Metals.

Markets in Europe closed higher on Thursday, receiving a boost after British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced a series of measures to tackle the country’s cost-of-living crisis, including a so-called “extra tax” on profits of the oil and gas giants.

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Thursday also marked the end of the World Economic Forum, where the world’s leading financiers, politicians and businessmen gathered in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss problems facing the global economy. Some gloomy predictions were offered, particularly for Europe, which many economists see as vulnerable to recession.

On Wall Street, US stocks rose with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track to snap an eight-day losing streak.

New data showed that the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation declined slightly in April. The basic personal consumption expenditures price index rose 4.9%, down from 5.2% the previous month.

Markets are also keeping an eye on the conflict in Ukraine, with a US official saying Russia is making “incremental progress” in the Donbass region.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said overnight that it will allow foreign ships to depart from Black Sea and Sea of ​​Azov ports, according to the state-run Interfax news agency, amid growing concerns about rising global prices. of food.

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