Major European markets close roughly flat

(RTTNews) – European stocks stabilized roughly flat on Tuesday after swinging between gains and losses most of the session.

Stocks rose earlier in the day as bond yields turned positive and the euro jumped on reports that the European Union was considering a joint bond sale to fund energy and defense spending.

According to reports, the European Union will this week unveil a plan to jointly issue bonds on a potentially massive scale to fund energy and defense spending.

However, concerns about inflation amid continued soaring crude oil prices and the economic impact of sanctions against Russia weighed on markets.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 0.49%. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.07%, Germany’s DAX edged down 0.02% and France’s CAC 40 ended down 0.32%, while the Swiss SMI fell 1.32 %.

Among other European markets, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden ended lower.

Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Turkey closed higher.

In the UK market, M&G shares soared more than 15% as the investment manager announced a £500m share buyback programme.

Fresnillo gained nearly 9.5%. ITV gained 7.8%. BP rose 5.1% and IAG rebounded 4.3%, while Phoenix Group Holdings, Rolls-Royce Holdings, Aviva, WPP, Shell, Standard Chartered, ICP, Royal Mail, Natwest Group and Legal & General all gained 2.3 to 4%.

IWG jumped about 9%. After reporting improving annual results, the flexible workspace provider announced the merger of its digital assets with The Instant Group.

British Land shares rose after the real estate investment trust announced a new joint venture with Melbourne-based pension fund AustralianSuper.

Polymetal International fell nearly 47%. Relx, Ocado Group, RightMove, Rentokil Initial, Informa, Intertek Group, Croda International, Experian, Halma, Vodafone Group, Melrose Industries, Ferguson and Bunzl lost 3-7%.

In the German market, Symrise and Sartorius both lost around 7%. Qiagen, Siemens Healthineers, E.ON, Merck, Zalando, Deutsche Wohnen, HelloFresh, Vonovia and Porsche Automobil lost 1-5%.

Munich RE, Adidas and Allianz gained around 5.5%, 4.8% and 3.2% respectively. Continental, Deutsche Bank, Covestro, BASF, Siemens and Puma gained 1.7-3%.

In Paris, Societe Generale, Saint Gobain, Engie, BNP Paribas, Sanofi, Vinci, Veolia and Schneider Electric climbed from 3 to 5.6%. Air France-KLM, Bouygues, AXA, Essilor, Publicis Groupe, Sanofi and Crédit Agricole are also making strong progress.

Valneva SE is progressing strongly. The French biotech company said it has successfully completed the pivotal Phase III trial of its single-shot chikungunya vaccine candidate VLA1553.

Dassault Systèmes plunged more than 7%. Teleperformance, Hermès International, Faurecia, LO’real, WorldLine, Accor, LVMH, Renault and STMicroElectronics lost 2 to 6.5%.

In economic releases, the euro zone economy grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter than initially estimated, due to lower household spending, according to revised Eurostat data.

Gross domestic product rose 0.3% sequentially, after expanding 2.3% in the third quarter. The rate is in line with the preliminary estimate published on February 15.

German industrial production rose 2.7% month on month, faster than the revised 1.1% rise seen in December, Destatis reported. Production is expected to grow at a slower pace of 0.5%.

On an annual basis, industrial production increased by 1.8%, contrary to the 2.7% decline recorded the previous month.

UK retail sales posted another strong boost in February on stronger demand for furniture and home accessories, clothing and footwear. Like-for-like sales rose 2.7% on an annual basis in February as restrictions were lifted, according to data from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG. At the same time, overall retail sales increased by 6.7%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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