European stock markets choppy

The European stock markets fluctuated on Thursday as investor sentiment was affected by concerns over the U.S. banking sector and recessionary risks. Despite this, corporate earnings beat expectations, bringing in some positive sentiment. The Stoxx 600 index moved between slight losses and gains in early trade and was up by 0.23% at 11:00 a.m. London time. Meanwhile, the banking sector was up 0.5% after Deutsche Bank and Barclays profits exceeded expectations.

Shares in Deutsche Bank rose by 1.3% after reporting its 11th straight quarterly profit. Similarly, Barclays was up 4.2% after announcing that its income had climbed on higher rates and gains in its consumer credit card division. Media stocks led sector losses, down 1.4%, while industrials climbed 1.1%. AstraZeneca and Unilever also traded higher on their own earnings beats.

In contrast, U.S. regional bank First Republic’s shares tumbled almost 30% in Wednesday’s trading session. Investors continue to worry about the bank’s health after similar plunges in the previous trading session. In the first quarter, the bank reported that deposits dropped 40% to $104.5 billion.

The Bank of Japan’s first policy meeting led by new governor Kazuo Ueda drew attention in the Asia-Pacific markets. Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures ticked higher, boosted by Meta’s results. Shares surged in after-hours trading following Facebook’s announcement of quarterly revenue that beat analysts’ expectations. An initial reading of U.S. gross domestic product for the first quarter was set to be released later on Thursday.

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