European Shares Inch Higher In Cautious Trade

European stocks were mostly higher on Monday, though underlying sentiment remained cautious amid anxiety around the outlook for monetary policy.

As inflation concerns mount, investors await U.S. CPI data as well as the January Fed minutes this week for directional cues.

A strong inflation reading is likely to help consolidate expectations of a 50bp hike by the Federal Reserve.

In economic releases, investors shrugged off data showing that German industrial production declined unexpectedly in December.

Industrial output dropped 0.3 percent month-on-month, in contrast to the 0.3 percent rise in November, Destatis reported. This was the first fall in three months. Economists had forecast a monthly growth of 0.4 percent.

On a yearly basis, industrial production decreased 4.1 percent, following a 2.2 percent drop in the previous month.

Separate data published by the Sentix research group showed that Eurozone’s investor sentiment index rose to 16.6 in February from 14.9 in January, extending its upbeat momentum for the second month of 2022.

The pan European Stoxx 600 rose 0.2 percent to 463.05 after losing 1.4 percent on Friday. The German DAX and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 both edged up around 0.2 percent, while France’s CAC 40 index was marginally higher.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta, Glencore and Rio Tinto rose between 0.7 percent and 1.3 percent after aluminium prices in China jumped 3 percent to scale a 3-1/2-month high amid supply concerns and expectations of strong demand.

Steel and iron ore futures also rose after China’s state planner said it would accelerate the construction of new infrastructure.

Oil & gas firm BP Plc dropped 1.3 percent and Shell was little changed as oil prices fluctuated in see-saw trading.

Faurecia shares rallied 2.5 percent. The French car parts supplier said its new combination with Hella would result in it aiming for sales of above 33 billion euros ($37.72 billion) in 2025.

Aurubis AG, the largest copper producer in Europe, jumped 3 percent after raising its earnings forecast.

Ceconomy tumbled 4.5 percent. The consumer electronics retailer reported that its adjusted EBIT, before non-recurring effects, associates and portfolio changes, for the first quarter declined to 274 million euros from 346 million euros in the year-ago period.

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