Europe Markets: European stocks track U.S. tech rout, while EDF plunges on French power price cap

European stocks fell Friday, with technology bearing the brunt of losses on the heels of heavy losses for that sector on Wall Street amid worries over Federal Reserve action to control inflation. EDF shares slid 20% after pulling guidance.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, -0.65% dropped 0.9% to 482.68, following a modest decline on Thursday, which snapped a two-session winning streak. The German DAX DAX, -0.68% fell 0.4% and the French CAC 40 PX1, -0.76% slid 0.6%, while losses were more modest for the FTSE 100 index UKX, -0.10%, which eased 0.1%.

Continued weakness in the U.S. dollar left the euro EURUSD, +0.10% and British pound GBPUSD, +0.24% higher by 0.1% each.

The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -2.51% finished down 2.5% on Thursday in a drubbing for Big Tech, as investors weighed up U.S. producer prices that showed a record 9.7% rise for 2021, on the heels of consumer prices earlier in the week that came in at the highest since the early 1980s annually.

“Rate-sensitive Nasdaq fell the most among the major U.S. indexes, as losses in the Dow Jones, which is believed to be better equipped to cope with higher rates, remained limited,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote.

U.S. stock futures ES00, +0.11% YM00, +0.17% NQ00, +0.05% pointed to something of a rebound ahead though, with focus on the start of earnings season from big bank names such as Citigroup C, +0.74%, JPMorgan JPM, -0.12%, Wells Fargo WFC, -0.71% and BlackRock BLK, -1.98%. Investors will also get another batch of U.S. data, including retail sales.

In China, data showed the country’s trade surplus hitting a record high in 2021, rising 29.9% to a fresh high of $3.36 trillion, while imports surged 30.1%, lifted in part by soaring commodity prices. 

Among Europe’s big tech names, shares of ASM International ASM, -2.92% dropped nearly 3%, along with ASML Holding ASML, -1.63% ASML, -2.97%, while Infineon Technologies IFX, -0.26% slipped 0.6%. German business software group SAP SAP, -3.03% SAP, +0.28% bucked the weaker trend, with a gain of 1.7%.

EDF EDF, -22.01% was the worst performer on the Stoxx Europe 600, as the French state-controlled utility late on Thursday pulled its guidance for the year, saying the government’s new moves to curb higher electricity bills will have an estimated impact of up to 8.4 billion euros ($9.62 billion). Shares slid nearly 22%.

Auto makers were among the gainers, with Volkswagen VOW, -0.80%, Renault RNO, +0.72% and Daimler Truck Holdings DTG, +1.25% all rising by more than 2%.

Shares of health technology company Philips PHG, +2.87% PHIA, +2.62% were also near the top of the gainers list, with a rise of more than 3%.

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