European Stocks Close Lower as Markets Await Latest Fed Minutes

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This is CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

European markets were lower on Wednesday, as investors gauge the global economic outlook and await the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.3% lower, with most sectors recording declines. Mining stocks dropped 2.1% and banks fell 1.6%, while media stocks gained 1.4%.

European markets eased by 0.2% on Tuesday, while U.S. stocks had their worst day of the year so far, amid fears that the Fed will keep rates higher for longer than previously thought.

U.S. stocks wavered on Wednesday, as the market struggled to recover from its worst day of the year. Traders also braced for the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes and for more insight on the central bank's future hiking agenda.

Asia-Pacific markets were lower on Wednesday after Wall Street's sharp losses overnight, and New Zealand's central bank continued to hike its benchmark interest rate.

Shares of Allfunds spike 20% on takeover reports

Shares of Allfunds Group jumped 20% in early afternoon trade on a Bloomberg report that Euronext is exploring a takeover of the Dutch-listed fund distribution firm.

The report suggests the takeover offer is for 5.5 billion euros ($5.9 billion) in cash and stock.

In response to the speculation Euronext confirmed it has submitted an indicative offer to the Allfunds board. Euronext did not mention any further details of the offer in its press release.

Allfunds shares retreated slightly to a 17% spike by around 3.15 p.m. London time.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

U.S. stocks open slightly higher

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday as Wall Street braced for the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes and more insight on the central bank's future hiking agenda.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 57 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively.

— Hakyung Kim

Rio Tinto reports lower profits, dividend cut

Rio Tinto shares were down slightly as the Anglo-Australian mining firm reported underlying post-tax earnings of $13.3 billion for 2022, a 38% yearly decline.

Results in the mining sector have broadly been coming in lower following a record 2021, in part due to higher input costs.

Rio Tinto also said it would more than halve its dividend.

Its London shares were down 3.1% in early afternoon trade, while the broader European mining sector was down 2.15%.

— Jenni Reid

Wienerberger CEO: New build, infrastructure and renovation markets will soften in 2023

Heimo Scheuch, CEO at Wienerberger, discusses the company's full-year results, the impact of rising interest rates on the real estate industry, and how the company has diversified to overcome these challenges.

Lloyds Banking Group falls on full-year earnings

Shares of Lloyds were down 2% at midday in London after the British bank reported pre-tax profit of £6.9 billion ($8.4 billion) for 2022, flat on the previous year and in-line with expectations.

Lloyds, which has a more domestic-centered business tied to mortgages and credit cards than some of its peers, said home loan volumes had plummeted and forecast a 7% fall in U.K. house prices this year.

Meanwhile, inflation has increased the risk of loan defaults, with Lloyds setting £1.5 billion aside last year as cover.

— Jenni Reid

Wolters Kluwer CEO: Share buyback of 1 billion euros planned for 2023

Nancy McKinstry, CEO at Wolters Kluwer, discusses the company's full-year results, her outlook for growth in 2023, and the resilience of the U.S. consumer.

Stocks on the move: Fresenius up 10.7%, Siegfried down 8.3%

Kidney dialysis services firm Fresenius Medical Care topped European stocks in morning trade, up 10.7%.

It followed an announcement from Fresenius, the wider medical company, that it would simplify its structure and cut costs, giving struggling Fresenius Medical Care more independence. However, Fresenius shares fell 4.3% as it reported lower profits.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600 index was pharmaceutical supplier Siegfried, down 8.3%, as it reported higher sales and profits and low to mid single-digit sales growth for 2023.

— Jenni Reid

Microsoft President Brad Smith says it’s a ‘good day for gamers’ after Nintendo, Nvidia deals

Microsoft President Brad Smith speaks to CNBC's Arjun Kharpal following a meeting with European Union officials on Tuesday, as his company tries to convince regulators that its planned $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard will be good for competition.

Jeep, Dodge maker Stellantis posts record annual profit, announces $4.47 billion shareholder payout

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares discusses the Ram 1500 Revolution EV Concept truck during his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 5, 2023.
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares discusses the Ram 1500 Revolution EV Concept truck during his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 5, 2023.

Carmaker Stellantis on Wednesday announced record full-year results, reporting a 26% rise in net profit to 16.8 billion euros ($17.9 billion) and a 41% annual jump in global battery and electric vehicle sales.

The Dutch-headquartered company, formed in 2021 from the merger of Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler group and France's PSA Group, said net revenues rose 18% to 179.6 billion euros.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said the results also demonstrated the effectiveness of the company's electrification strategy in Europe, with 288,000 battery and electric vehicle (BEV) sales in 2022 and 23 BEVs now on the market.

"We now have the technology, the products, the raw materials, and the full battery ecosystem to lead that same transformative journey in North America, starting with our first fully electric Ram vehicles from 2023 and Jeep from 2024," Tavares said.

Read the full story here.

Elliot Smith

European markets open lower

European markets were downbeat in early trade, with the Stoxx 600 index down 0.4% and most sectors in the red.

Mining stocks led losses, down 1.5%, and media stocks were a lone bright spot, up 0.6%.

Despite encouraging PMI and public finance data yesterday, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.65%. France's CAC 40 shed 0.38% and Germany's DAX dropped 0.39%.

— Jenni Reid

These electric vehicle ETFs are up 20% this year — and analysts still see major upside ahead

Exchange-traded funds focused on electric vehicles have become increasingly popular as interest in the industry booms.

These ETFs provide a diversified way to invest in the industry, offering exposure to companies such as Tesla, semiconductor company Nvidia and global stocks such as Warren Buffett-backed Chinese automaker BYD.

Given the large number of EV-related ETFs available, CNBC Pro has attempted to narrow down the list, identifying ETFs that analysts expect to rise by more than 30% over the next year.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are heading for a lower open Wednesday.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 16 points lower at 7,959, Germany's DAX 4 points higher at 15,485, France's CAC down 11 points at 7,294 and Italy's FTSE MIB down 74 points at 27,365, according to data from IG.

Earnings are set to come from Lloyds Banking Group, Rio Tinto, Danone, Stellantis, Fresenius, Wolters Kluwer, Ferrovial and Iberdrola.

— Holly Ellyatt

CNBC Pro: Buffett-backed BYD and more: Analysts name top 'climate stocks,' giving one 100% upside

Energy storage and the future of transport are two of the "most attractive" climate themes to invest in right now, according to HSBC analysts.

The bank named buy-rated stocks under both of these themes which have among the highest upside to its price targets.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

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