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European shares pop two weeks of gains as growth fears weigh

European shares pop two weeks of gains as growth fears weigh 1

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Anisha Sircar

(Reuters) -European shares fell on Friday after a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report ramped up bets of another 75 basis point rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month, while fears of a darkening growth outlook pushed shares towards weekly losses.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.8%, extending losses from earlier in the day after U.S. nonfarm payrolls were shown to increase by 528,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since February.

The benchmark has lost 0.6% this week, snapping two weeks in positive territory, on worries over dour economic data from the region, rising geopolitical tensions and fears that higher interest rates could tip the economy into a recession.

“The data published this week add to the evidence that a recession is just around the corner,” said Jack Allen-Reynolds, senior Europe economist at Capital Economics.

Figures this week also showed euro zone retail sales plunged in June and factory gate prices continued to rise, while euro zone business activity contracted in July for the first time since early last year.

“Forward-looking indicators suggest that worse is to come… If we are right, the European Central Bank will raise interest rates more aggressively than is currently priced into the market, and the economy will underperform consensus forecasts.”

Euro zone government bond yields jumped, with Germany’s 10-year bond yield last up 9 bps at 0.89%. [GVD/EUR]

Company results were mixed on Friday, with Deutsche Post up 4.6% after posting double-digit growth in revenue and earnings.

London Stock Exchange Group gained 1.6% on saying costs and savings targets for integrating its $27 billion acquisition of data company Refinitiv remain unchanged and it was launching a 750 million pound ($910.65 million) share buyback.

Allianz fell 1.6%. The insurer spent around 140 million euros ($143.11 million) on restructuring to wind down a U.S. funds unit at the centre of a multi-billion fraud, and posted a worse-than-expected 23% fall in quarterly profit.

Ground staff of Germany’s Lufthansa and management reached a pay deal after negotiations, averting further walkouts during the busy summer travel season. Shares of the carrier rose 4.0%.

Miners were the biggest gainers, jumping 1.1%, tracking a rise in prices of copper and other base metals as investors focused on low inventories and threats to supply. [MET/L]

Oil stocks reversed early declines to inch 0.6% higher on the back of a rebound in crude prices.

German industrial production posted an unexpected but modest increase in June, official data showed, despite supply chain problems weighing on manufacturing.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Christina Fincher)

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