European markets start February with positive momentum; Stoxx 600 up 1%; UBS up 7% – CNBC

LONDON — European stocks traded higher on Tuesday as markets kicked off a new month of trading.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 1% by late-afternoon, with basic resources adding 3.3% to lead gains as almost all sectors and major bourses traded in positive territory.

UBS on Tuesday reported a fall in quarterly profit, but beat analyst expectations and set ambitious new profitability targets as part of a strategic update. UBS shares climbed more than 7% to top the Stoxx 600.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Swiss online pharmacy Zur Rose Group fell nearly 8%.

European markets had a spring in their step during the first trading session of February after a positive end to January trade on Monday. Nonetheless, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index still closed out its worst month since October 2020, as investors reassessed their allocations amid fears over higher interest rates.

Euro zone growth is a cause for concern too, after preliminary gross domestic product (GDP) data released on Monday showed economic output slowed in the fourth quarter of 2021, with GDP rising 0.3% quarter-on-quarter for a 4.6% annual gain.

Over on Wall Street, stocks surged for a second day Monday to wrap up a rough January in which investors grappled with the Federal Reserve’s policy shift. But U.S. stocks were mostly lower on the first trading session of the new month.

On the data front in Europe, French inflation eased from a 13-year high in January, INSEE statistics agency said Tuesday. Annual inflation came in at 3.3%, down from 3.4% in December and above an average forecast of 3.0%.

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