News ID: 99692
Publish Date : 05 February 2022 - 21:31

Europe Markets Close Lower as Autos Stocks Lead Losses

LONDON (CNBC) — Europe markets closed in negative territory as investors digested key updates from both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank the previous day.
Autos stocks led losses, shedding 3.34%. New data on Friday revealed that new car sales in the U.K. last month were 23% lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Thursday saw the European Central Bank keep interest rates unchanged in spite of record inflation levels across the euro zone. The Bank of England, however, hiked rates in its first back-to-back interest rates rise since 2004. Major European bourses, including the French CAC index and Germany’s DAX, dipped into negative territory on Friday, with the German index shedding 1.8%.
The ECB resisted pressure to raise rates at a time of unprecedented inflation, with the most recent reading hitting a record 5.1% last month. Christine Lagarde, the central bank’s president, said on Thursday that although inflation was likely to remain elevated for longer than previously thought, the ECB expected it to ease throughout 2022.
Meanwhile, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Thursday it was likely the BoE would need to raise rates again, after hiking its main interest rate to 0.5% in a bid to contain soaring inflation, which hit a 30-year high in the U.K. in January.
Investors are also weighing up fresh economic data out of the continent. Retail sales in the euro zone saw a month-on-month decline of 3% in December, but gained 2% from a year earlier.
German industrial orders grew 2.8% in December from a month earlier, data showed on Friday, whereas France saw its industrial output contract by 0.2% between November and December.
Across the Atlantic, U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose far more than expected in January, the Labor Department reported Friday. Nonfarm payrolls surged by 467,000 for the month, while the unemployment rate rose to 4%.