European shares muted ahead of cenbank meetings; LVMH, H&M slide
European shares were muted on Friday as investors refrained from placing aggressive bets ahead of a slew of central bank meetings next week, while luxury goods makers slid after weak earnings from sector bellwether LVMH.
The pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) was flat at 0815 GMT as losses in retail (.SXRP) and healthcare (.SXDP) stocks offset gains in the energy (.SXEP) sector.
Shares of LVMH (LVMH.PA) fell 1.1% as some analysts expressed an element of disappointment over the company’s margins, which took some of the shine off its fourth-quarter figures.
H&M (HMb.ST) declined 6.6% after the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer reported a much larger-than-expected dive in September-November operating profit, slammed by soaring costs and weakening consumer confidence.
SSAB (SSABa.ST) gained 6.9% as the Swedish steelmaker expects to increase shipments in a more stable market in the first quarter, while reporting earnings in line expectations.
The upcoming week is marked by prominent central bank meetings like the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England.