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Banks lift European bourses as rate hike, recession fears grow

| Updated: September 29, 2022 18:18:04


The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, August 29, 2022. REUTERS/Staff The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, August 29, 2022. REUTERS/Staff

European shares rose on Tuesday following a two-day slump as banking stocks boosted bourses on the back of higher interest rate expectations, though fears around a burgeoning energy crisis and looming recession kept gains in check.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 1.0 per cent, after a sell-off of about 2.5 per cent over the last two sessions, driven by a hawkish tone struck by European Central Bank (ECB) speakers and US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, which bumped up rate expectations.

Bank stocks, which tend to benefit from higher interest rate environments, rose 2.2 per cent after traders priced in more than a two-thirds chance of a 75-basis-point move at the ECB's September 8 policy meeting. 

"A number of ECB officials spoke in favour of rate hikes, but what matters more is whether markets have confidence in the ECB to significantly tighten despite all adversities," said Commerzbank analyst Esther Reichelt.

"With a view to the coming winter and the threat of an energy crisis, investors are likely to remain understandably cautious," Reichelt added.

A planned three-day halt of natural gas supplies to Europe by Russian energy giant Gazprom via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was set to kick off on Wednesday.

On Monday, ahead of the halt, German economy minister Robert Habeck said the country faces the "bitter reality" that Russia will not restore gas supplies to Germany. Separately, several Italian papers reported on Tuesday Berlin was willing to consider a price-cap on gas.

The DAX rose 1.6 per cent to move away from six-week lows.

Meanwhile, Spain's IBEX rose 1.1 per cent. Spanish national consumer prices rose 10.4 per cent year-on-year in August, down from 10.8 per cent the previous month, preliminary data showed.

Among individual stocks, shares in Sanofi firmed 1.0 per cent after a drug which the firm as well as Sweden's SOBI are collaborating on was granted priority review by the US Food and Drug Administration. SOBI also added 1.0 per cent.

Gazprom has informed Engie it is reducing its gas deliveries starting Tuesday due to a disagreement between the parties, the French utility said. Engie shares added 1.1 per cent in early trade.

Adevinta surged 14.1 per cent after the world's largest classified ads company reported upbeat quarterly results.

Norway's Aker Solutions jumped 5.5 per cent after the firm announced it would form a subsea engineering joint venture with Schlumberger.

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