European Shares Extend Gains For Third Day As Rate Hike Bets Ease

European stocks rose for a third day running on Friday, with strong earnings from U.S. retailers and expectations that the Federal Reserve may become less aggressive in tightening rates later in the year helping underpin sentiment.

The focus now shifts to the U.S. April core PCE price index due later in the day that could provide clues as to how the inflation outlook is shaping up.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index climbed 0.7 percent to 440.71 while the German DAX rose 0.7 percent and France’s CAC 40 index jumped 0.9 percent.

U.K. stocks underperformed, with the benchmark FTSE 100 trading up 0.1 percent in choppy trade after the government announced a 25 percent windfall tax on oil and gas producers’ profits.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak did not rule out applying a similar levy to power generators, but said more work needs to be done on the idea.

Oil & gas firm BP Plc fell 1.2 percent and Shell was down 0.8 percent.

Power generators such as SSE, Centrica, and Drax lost 3-5 percent.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore all rose about 2 percent as copper and iron ore prices rose boosted by a weaker dollar.

Workspace Group advanced 1.5 percent after saying it has received unsolicited indications of interest from a number of parties for the acquisition of the entire portfolio of light industrial assets formerly owned by McKay.

Saint-Gobain shares rose more than 1 percent. The company has entered into agreements for the sale of its glass processing businesses Eckelt Glas and Glas Ziegler in Austria to the privately-owned German group AEQUITA, as well as the sale of its holding in the co-venture Glaskontor Erfurt – a glass processing business in Germany – to the CALEOGLAS Group.

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