By Bansari Mayur Kamdar
(Reuters) -European shares edged up on Monday as a jump in banking stocks after HSBC’s strong results offset fears of a global economic slowdown fanned by disappointing Chinese economic data and figures showing contraction in euro zone manufacturing activity.
The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.2% in volatile trade. [MKTS/GLOB]
The biggest boost to the index came from London-listed HSBC that jumped 5.7% on posting a profit that beat expectations. The company also pushed back on a proposal by top shareholder Ping An Insurance Group Co of China to split the lender, arguing the move would be costly.
The banking index climbed 1.9%.
“We’ve had a bit of a positive boost to the banking sector from the initial rising interest rates … the problem for the sector is further down the road as we get the economic slowdown everybody is anticipating,” said Stuart Cole, head macro economist at Equiti Capital.
European stocks posted their best monthly performance on Friday since November 2020 helped by strong earnings from corporate Europe, even as broader sentiment remained fragile on fears of an economic slowdown.
Adding to concerns the bloc could fall into a recession, data on Monday showed manufacturing activity across the euro zone contracted last month with factories forced to stockpile unsold goods due to weak demand.
“The picture being painted is looking increasingly bleak for the EU, and a drill down of the numbers shows lower sales, declining rates of new orders and exports, and large rises in stocks,” said Cole.
“The expectation has to be that manufacturers will be cutting output further going forward.”
In Germany, the powerhouse of the European economy, data showed retailers ended the first half of 2022 with the sharpest year-on-year sales drop in nearly three decades, as inflation, the Ukraine conflict and the pandemic take their toll.
Heineken NV slipped 0.9% as the world’s second-largest brewer shelved its margin target for 2023 as costs spiked.
(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)