European markets record their best month since November 2020

European markets ended the month higher on Friday as investors digested a fresh round of corporate earnings and key economic data from the eurozone.

The Stoxx 600 rose 1.3% as oil and gas stocks climbed 2.9% to lead the gains as nearly all sectors ended in positive territory except for healthcare, which slipped 0.4%.

The pan-European benchmark accelerated 6.3% in July, recording its best month since November 2020.

Economic growth in the euro zone accelerated in the second quarter, official figures showed on Friday, despite the escalating gas crisis and record inflation.

The 19-member bloc posted a 0.7% rise in GDP, beating expectations of 0.2% growth and in stark contrast to the yearly negative readings out of the United States in the first and second quarters.

In Asia-Pacific, stocks ended the night on a mixed note, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index falling more than 2% on the pullback in tech stocks. Mainland Chinese stocks also fell after Chinese leaders indicated on Thursday that Beijing is unlikely to try to revive the economy and downplayed the country’s gross domestic product target, which is “around 5 .5%”.

On Wall Street, U.S. markets rose on Friday as strong quarterly reports from big tech companies including Amazon and Apple supported investor risk sentiment.

This positive sentiment in the United States comes despite the surprise drop of 0.9% in American GDP in the second quarter, confirmed on Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which reinforced fears of a possible pullback.

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