European shares closed lower on US bond yields


European stocks closed lower on Friday, with bond yields rising due to expectations of a jump in inflation, driven by strong US jobs data, but the STOXX 600 index recorded weekly gains, supporting growth in sectors sensitive to growth.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.8 percent in today’s session, as losses led the shares of travel and financial services companies.
But the index achieved a rise of 0.9 percent on a weekly basis with the spread of optimism about the ultimate economic recovery this year, prompting investors to turn to sectors that would likely benefit from this recovery. Auto stocks outpaced their peers, jumping 4.9 percent.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that a recent sharp increase in US bond yields does not justify the intervention of the central bank to reduce them.
US and European bond yields rose after his comments, while US yields were also supported by stronger-than-expected US jobs data, which raised inflation expectations.
Technology stocks were the weakest performers in Europe for the second week in a row, while the utilities and healthcare sectors also declined.
Shares of oil companies rose 0.7 percent, supported by a rise in crude prices to near their highest level in 14 months, after OPEC and its allies agreed to increase supplies in April.
Shares of the London Stock Exchange Group fell to the bottom of the STOXX 600 index as analysts scrutinized the expenses of its merger with data and analytics firm Refentiv.
French airline Dassault dropped 3 percent after it reported a drop in revised quarterly operating income. (Reuters)


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