Investing.com - European stock markets traded in a mixed fashion Thursday, as investors digested a deluge of corporate earnings, with the banking sector in particular focus.
The quarterly corporate season is in full flow in Europe, with the banking sector to the fore.
Barclays (LON: BARC ) stock rose 3.1% after the British lender reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday after a strong performance from its credit card business.
Deutsche Bank (ETR: DBKGn ) stock rose 0.5% after the German banking giant posted a better-than-expected 9% rise in first-quarter profit, its 11th straight quarterly profit, as income from higher interest rates offset a slump in revenues at the investment bank.
BBVA (BME: BBVA ) stock rose 1.4% after the Spanish bank reported its first-quarter net profit rose almost 40% from the same quarter in 2022 thanks to a solid performance in Mexico, its main market.
These largely positive results in Europe have helped ease worries about contagion after U.S. regional lender First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC ) slumped 30% Wednesday, adding to similar losses the previous session, after the bank revealed $100 billion in customer withdrawals last month, raising fears about its long term viability.
Away from the financial sector, Unilever (LON: ULVR ) stock rose 1.4% after the packaged goods giant easily beat quarterly sales forecasts on Thursday, as big price rises compensated for a small dip in volumes.
On the flip side, Pernod Ricard (EPA: PERP ) stock fell 0.1% after the French spirits group reported disappointing sales in the third quarter, but said it was still confident of delivering a strong performance over the 2022/2023 full year.
In economic news, Spanish retail sales jumped 9.5% on the year in March, a significant improvement on the revised 4.1% rise the previous month, while Italian business and consumer confidence remained healthy.
Oil prices edged higher Thursday, helped by a much larger-than-expected drop in weekly U.S. crude inventories, but are on course for a losing week on concerns slowing economic growth will hit future oil demand.
U.S. crude stocks fell by 5.1 million barrels last week, following a 4.6M barrel draw in the prior week and below the expected 1.5M barrel decrease, according to data from the Energy Information Administration , released late Wednesday.
Both benchmarks are on course to post losses of almost 4% this week, close to a one-month low, having erased all the gains made on the back of a surprise production cut by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies at the start of this month.
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