European Shares Mixed As Traders Reassess Geopolitical Risks

European stocks were mixed on Wednesday, as investors took stock of rising geopolitical risks and awaited the much-awaited U.K. budget announcement on Thursday.

The dollar rally fizzled out after U.S. President Joe Biden said it was “unlikely” that the blast in Poland may have been caused by a missile fired from Russian territory.

The pan European STOXX 600 dropped half a percent to 432.24 after rising 0.4 percent on Tuesday.

The German DAX shed half a percent and France’s CAC 40 index was marginally lower while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent.

Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance rallied 2.4 percent after announcing more ambitious financial targets for the next three years.

Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer Billerud tumbled 5 percent after Jefferies cut its rating on the stock.

Beazley lost nearly 4 percent after the British insurer launched a share sale to raise around £385 million.

Carnival plunged 13 percent after the cruise operator said it has commenced a private offering of $1 billion aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2027 to be used as part of a refinancing plan.

Electricity infrastructure firm SSE declined 1.7 percent despite posting a higher half-year profit.

Alstom rose more than 2 percent. The French train maker confirmed its full-year outlook and mid-term targets after posting solid results for the first half of 2022-23.

Siemens Energy jumped 5.3 percent. The German company swung to a profit in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year and said it expects net loss to reduce in fiscal 2023.

Mercedes Benz Group plunged 5.4 percent after slashing prices on two electric car models in China.

Rivals BMW, Volkswagen and Renault fell over 3 percent each.

In economic releases, official data showed U.K. consumer price inflation reached a 41-year high in October, driven by household energy and food prices.

U.K. consumer prices grew 11.1 percent on a yearly basis, following September’s 10.1 percent increase, data showed.

The rate was the highest since October 1981 and well exceeded economists’ forecast of 10.7 percent.

Another report revealed that factory gate inflation eased to 14.8 percent in October from 16.3 percent a month ago, with the monthly fall in petroleum prices providing a large downward contribution. Economists had forecast prices to climb 14.6 percent.

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