European stocks close 1.2% higher as global markets rebound; Commerzbank up 3%

  • The market's volatility this week was exacerbated by a 4.2% jump in the U.S. Consumer Price Index for April, its fastest annual growth rate since 2008.
  • This sparked fears that the Federal Reserve could be forced to tighten its accommodative monetary policy.

LONDON — European shares continued a sharp rebound on Friday, alongside other global markets, following a sell-off in stocks at the start of trading week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed higher by 1.2%, with autos adding 1.9% to lead gains while basic resources was the only sector in the red, shedding 1%.

Markets in Europe received a strong handover from Asia-Pacific, where Japan's Nikkei 225 led gains across the region. On Wall Street, U.S. stocks jumped on Friday but the major averages were still on track for modest losses for the week as inflation fears hit sentiment.

The market's volatility this week was exacerbated by a 4.2% jump in the U.S. Consumer Price Index for April, its fastest annual growth rate since 2008, which sparked fears that the Federal Reserve could be forced to tighten its accommodative monetary policy.

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Inflation speeds up in April as consumer prices leap 4.2%, fastest since 2008

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Back in Europe, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said his government is concerned about the increased transmissibility of the new Covid-19 variant first detected in India, and indicated that nothing can be ruled out in potential efforts to curtail it.

In corporate news, UniCredit's largest shareholder BlackRock voted against the remuneration package for the Italian lender's CEO Andrea Orcel last month, Reuters reported. The package turned Orcel into one of Europe's highest-paid bank bosses.

Italian infrastructure group Atlantia reported a first-quarter net loss and confirmed that it would make a decision on the sale of a majority stake in its motorway unit by June 11.

In terms of individual share price movement, Man Group gained 4.9% to lead the Stoxx 600 after Credit Suisse raised its price target.

Commerzbank led a broad rally for banks, climbing 3.6% after price target raises from Independent Research and Morgan Stanley.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Luxembourg's InPost and Sweden's Nibe Industrier both fell by around 3%

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