European Shares Mostly Higher In Lackluster Trade

European stocks saw muted gains on Wednesday as investors reacted to a mixed bag of earnings and watched for developments on U.S. coronavirus stimulus.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.2 percent to 411.13 after ending flat with a negative bias the previous day.

France’s CAC 40 index was little changed with a positive bias and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent while the German DAX was marginally lower.

Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping line, slumped 7 percent after its Ebitda outlook for 2021 missed analyst estimates.

British retail company Dunelm rallied 3.4 percent after announcing it would resume dividend payouts.

Advertising firm WPP edged up slightly after it acquired Brazil’s DTI Digital for an undisclosed amount.

Ashmore Group gained 1 percent. The emerging markets specialist group announced a pre-tax profit increase of 14 percent for the last six months of the year.

House builder Persimmon dropped 1.3 percent. The company said it has made a provision of 75 million pounds in its 2020 results to pay for its contribution to any necessary work on 26 buildings that may be affected by cladding safety issues.

Societe Generale climbed 3 percent after the French bank reported a forecast-beating net profit of 470 million euros for the fourth quarter, helped by “significant improvement” in the business during the second half of 2020.

Industrial gases company Air Liquide lost about 1 percent. After posting better-than-expected full-year sales, the company said it aims to deliver recurring net profit in 2021.

German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp surged 4.3 percent after it raised its full-year outlook citing improved demand.

Online takeaway food company Delivery Hero edged down half a percent after cutting its full-year investments goals during the course of 2020.

In economic news, German consumer price inflation turned positive for the first time in seven months in January as the temporary reduction in VAT rates ended in December, final data from Destatis showed.

The consumer price index rose 1.0 percent year-on-year after a 0.3 percent fall in December. A positive inflation rate was last seen in June 2020, when prices were up 0.9 percent.

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