PARIS / LONDON (dpa-AFX) – The most important stock exchanges in Europe were stable on Friday. Investors are already focusing on the upcoming interest rate decisions by the central banks in the USA, the euro region and Great Britain in the coming week. Before these important days, many market participants preferred to keep their feet still, said stockbrokers.

    The EuroStoxx 50 (EURO STOXX 50) ended trading up a small 0.10 percent to 4178.01 points. The French CAC 40 also closed with a plus of 0.02 percent to 7097.21 points and the British FTSE 100 also remained unchanged with plus 0.05 percent to 7765.15 points.

    “The week of truth” is imminent, according to the private bank Merck Finck. “The meetings of the ECB and the Fed will, in addition to further interest rate hikes, provide indications of the interest rate peak that is likely to be reached soon,” expects Chief Strategist Robert Greil. However, the large amount of data on the overall economic situation should also fuel recession worries, especially in the USA.

    On the company side, mixed quarterly balance sheets were in view. The fashion group H&M (HennesMauritz AB (HM, H&M)), for example, was disappointing because high energy costs and the burden of an austerity program had eaten into profits last year. The increase in raw material and freight costs in connection with the strong US dollar also made it more expensive to buy goods, so that the Swedes were left with part of the costs. The share fell by 4.1 percent in Stockholm.

    On the other hand, the luxury goods group LVMH (LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton), which reported a record year for 2022, presented itself as solid as usual: sales and profit increased by double digits. Although the share barely made any headway at minus 0.07 percent, it is already trading at a record high.

    After the spirits manufacturer Diageo disappointed with some of its quarterly figures the day before, it was Remy Cointreau this Friday. The share certificates lost 3.7 percent. Business in North America did not go as expected for the French either. In the US, high inventories weighed on sales in the third fiscal quarter.

    The shares of Vestas (Vestas Wind Systems AS) also closed weakly. High costs and supply chain problems are likely to continue to cause problems for the Danish wind turbine manufacturer in the new year. Although the management wants to counteract this with price increases, it does not rule out red figures in day-to-day business./ck/ngu