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Europe midday: Shares up but Sweco slumps on earnings miss

(Sharecast News) - European markets held moderate gains on Friday while German inflation registered a welcome fall for the Continent's largest economy.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.7% higher at 485.63 after a strong session on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 passing the 5,000 milestone for the first time during intraday trading.

German inflation fell to 2.9% January in line with preliminary data, down from 3.7% in December, and driven by a sharp fall in energy costs, according to official data released on Friday. The country's DAX stock market index was up 0.06% on the news at 16,981 points.

There was a sharp drop in energy inflation to -2.8% from 4.1% in December, despite the discontinuation of the brake on energy prices and the introduction of a higher carbon price, which affects the price of fossil fuels such as motor fuels, heating oil and natural gas.

"In the markets, it's been a flat old week in Europe with little in the way of direction or movement for the major indices, despite a bunch of corporate earnings ... macro is maybe still in charge here and the bond markets haven't done much either. The CAC in Paris has risen almost 1% this week but the DAX and FTSE are within a quarter of a percent of where they started," said Finalto chief market analyst Neil Wilson.

In equity news, shares in Sweco plunged 13% to the bottom of the Stoxx after the Swedish engineering and architecture consultancy company missed fourth-quarter earnings expectations.

Shares in Ubisoft rose 18% in early deals as the French video game company pointed to a "turnaround" in its output in its latest earnings report.

L'Oreal shares were down after reporting lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales Thursday in a sign of continued pressure on the luxury market.

Luxury goods maker Hermes gained as results pleased investors.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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