European Stocks Higher on Russian Troop Withdrawal; Heineken Shines

European Stocks

European stock markets traded higher Wednesday, continuing the previous session’s positive tone after Russia announced it had pulled some troops back from the Ukraine border.

The move raised hopes that armed conflict in the region can be avoided.

By 3:40 AM ET (0840 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.3% higher, the CAC 40 in France climbed 0.4% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1%.

Global stock markets surged on Tuesday, with both the DAX and the CAC 40 climbing approximately 2%, as the Russian defense ministry published footage to show it was returning some troops to base after exercises.

The gains are more subdued Wednesday, with General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s chief, warning that the military alliance has so far “not seen any sign of de-escalation on the ground from the Russian side”, while hours after Moscow’s announcement, Ukraine said the online networks of its defense ministry and two banks were overwhelmed by a cyber attack.

Elsewhere, the European earnings season continued Wednesday, with Heineken (AS:HEIN) stock up 0.5% after the world’s second largest brewer in the world reported higher earnings than expected in 2021, helped by cost savings and by consumers shifting to more expensive beers.

Ahold (AS:AD) stock slumped 4.4% after the Dutch supermarket retailer warned that its underlying earnings would return to historical levels in 2022 even after it reported a strong fourth quarter, as the Covid-19 pandemic drove robust online sales.  

FDJ (PA:FDJ) stock rose 6.6% after the French lottery company posted strong full-year earnings and lifted its forward guidance.

Turning to economic data, U.K. CPI fell slightly on the month in January, down 0.1%, but the annual figure remained elevated at 5.5%, suggesting pressure will remain on the Bank of England to lift interest rates in the months ahead.

Europe sees the release of industrial production data for December, but the focus is likely to be on the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting, where policy makers in all likelihood debated how quickly it should tighten monetary policy in the months after March.   

The FTSE MIB climbed down by 0.01% to 26,964.20. In the cash markets, the DAX  Germany was trading up by 0.28%  to 15,455.65. CAC 40  in France  Fell by 0.35% to 7,004.37 while the FTSE 100  in the U.K. was up by 0.05% to 7,612.35, at the time of writing.

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