European stocks rose on Friday after upbeat results from Richemont confirmed strength in the luxury sector, while investors assessed inflation data from France and Spain for hints about the European Central Bank’s plans to raise interest rates.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index (.STOXX) rose 0.4% by 07:18 GMT, turning slightly positive for the week as European shares headed for very limited weekly gains, following the release of UK growth data.
Economic data released on Friday showed that the British economy grew by 0.1% during the first quarter of this year, as expected, despite its contraction by 0.3% in March.
Richemont (CFR.S) stock jumped 5.5% to a record high as the luxury goods group beat expectations after strong demand from Chinese consumers for jewelry and watches boosted net profit and sales in the 12 months through March.
Other luxury stocks such as Kring (PRTP.PA) and LVMH (LVMH.PA) rose more than 1% each.
The data showed Spanish national consumer prices rose 4.1% in the 12 months through April, while French inflation rose 6.9% – both in line with economists’ estimates.
Troubled Swedish real estate group SBB, whose shares have recently fallen on debt concerns, rose 2.9% after selling most of its shares in construction company JM for SEK 2.8 billion ($275.8 million), while JM shares rose 2.6%.
French bank Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) rose 0.3% after it reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.