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European stock markets closed trading with strong growth

Relevance up to 07:00 2022-01-19 UTC+00

The Chinese economy grew 4% in the last quarter of 2021 compared to the same period of the previous year, the weakest increase since the second quarter of 2020, data from the National Bureau of Statistics of the PRC showed. GDP growth slowed down from 4.9% in the previous quarter, however, exceeded the forecasts of experts who had expected growth of 3.6%.

In 2021 as a whole, Chinese GDP increased by 8.1%, which exceeded the country’s target of “above 6%”. In 2020, according to revised data, the country’s economy grew by 2.2%, and not by 2.3%, as previously reported.

The composite index of the largest companies in the Stoxx Europe 600 region rose by 0.7% by the close of trading and amounted to 484.51 points.

The French CAC 40 added 0.82%, the German DAX – 0.32%, the British FTSE 100 – 0.91%. Spain’s IBEX 35 and Italy’s FTSE MIB rose 0.36% and 0.52%, respectively.

Unilever Plc, one of the world’s leading food and home goods manufacturers, has made its third offer to acquire a joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) PLC and Pfizer Inc. for the production of consumer health products for 50 billion pounds ($68.4 billion). Unilever lost 7% and GSK rose 4.1%.

The Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA will return more than 7 billion euros to its shareholders in 2021 and 2022. In particular, the bank plans to complete a EUR3.5 billion share buyback program launched last year and pay dividends for two years. Banco Bilbao’s share price rose 0.3%.

Shares of Air France-KLM added 0.6%. The air carrier has asked the EU authorities to make more flexible rules for the use of slots (the period of time that an airport allocates an aircraft for takeoff or landing – IF) at the region’s airports amid restrictions imposed on flights due to COVID-19.

Share prices of Credit Suisse Group AG fell 2.3% on news that the bank’s chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio is leaving his post after violating covid restrictions.

The value of British pharmaceuticals Clinigen Group PLC fell 0.8% after it became known that Triton Funds was buying the company for 1.3 billion pounds ($1.78 billion).

Fraport AG lost 0.5%. Frankfurt am Main Airport (Germany), operated by Fraport, served 24.8 million passengers in 2021, which is 32.2% higher than the previous year, when passenger traffic collapsed by 73% and reached its lowest level since 1984. Meanwhile, passenger traffic remains 64.8% below pre-pandemic 2019, according to a Fraport press release.

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