Europe markets lower as investors digest ECB comments, Austria lockdown; banks down 2.7% – CNBC

LONDON — European markets were lower on Friday, as investors monitored the outlook for inflation and central bank comments, along with a resurgence of Covid-19 on the continent.

Back in Europe, ECB President Lagarde on Friday reinforced her view that euro zone inflation will fade, and said the ECB should not look to tighten monetary policy as it could hamper the bloc’s recovery.

As well as taking some of the wind out of the stock market’s sails, Lagarde’s comments and the news of new Covid restrictions dented the euro gave up 0.7% to the dollar by mid-morning.

On the data front, U.K. retail sales increased 0.8% month-on-month in October, slightly exceeding the 0.5% expected by economists in a Reuters poll. Excluding fuel, sales grew by 1.6% on the month against a 0.6% forecast, with the country facing spiking energy prices.

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Investors were also monitoring the latter stages of corporate earnings season, with Kingfisher among those reporting on Friday.

The British retailer posted a 2.4% slide in third-quarter sales but said the final quarter of the year was off to a strong start. Kingfisher shares fell 2.7% by early afternoon.

Shares of British online grocer Ocado climbed more than 8% following news of fresh Covid-19 restrictions in Europe. Online supermarkets and food delivery companies advanced across the board.

Meanwhile the news sent Swiss travel retailer Dufry tumbling more than 6%, leading a broad decline for travel stocks.

At the top of the Stoxx 600, British e-commerce company THG jumped more than 10%.

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Europe markets lower as investors digest ECB comments, Austria lockdown; banks down 2.7% – CNBC

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