Pur Sagarika Jaisinghani e Shreyashi Sanyal
(Reuters) – European shares rose on Friday, with Marks & Spencer pushing the retail sector higher, but the Stoxx 600 still marked its worst week since February, with signs of slowing economic growth and rising COVID-19 cases.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.3 percent, with the retail sector rising 1.2 percent. On the week, it was down 1.5%.
British retailer Marks & Spencer jumped 14.1%, the highest on the STOXX 600 index, after improving its profit forecast after a jump in food demand and an increase in online clothing orders, indicating that the latest recovery plan is starting to bear fruit.
The miner’s stock index ended unchanged, closing as the worst performer for the week.
“It appears that the progress countries have made in dealing with Covid-19 has had little impact on the overall performance of their stock markets,” said Bethany Beckett, UK economist at Capital Economics.
“Instead, it appears that fluctuations in sentiment around the virus globally have continued to exert a greater impact by alternating sectors,” he said, expressing hope that this trend will continue.
Next week’s focus will be on the annual central bankers’ conference in Jackson Hole, US, where Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell may signal his willingness to begin cutting monetary support.
An ECB spokeswoman said this week that European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will not attend the seminar.
In London, the FTSE added 0.41% to 7,087.90 points.
In Frankfurt, the DAX index rose 0.27% to 15,808.04 points.
In Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.31% to 6,626.11 points.
In Milan, the Ftse/Mib index fell 0.04% to 25,918.27 points.
In Madrid, the IBEX 35 index rose 0.15 percent to 8,915.30 points.
In Lisbon, the PSI20 index rose 0.63% to 5,337.14 points.
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