Shell posts strong earnings, boosts its stock price
The European stock markets reported mixed results, had subdued 24-hour performances, but energy giant Shell was no slacker.
The company’s strong results helped the FTSE 100 outperform ahead of policy-setting meetings by both the ECB and the Bank of England (BoE).
These policy meetings are headliner events this Thursday, but Shell grabbed headlines just ahead of it.
Shell’s stock price rose 0.7% after it announced an $8.5 billion share buyback program and lifted its dividend. This came after Q4 earnings exceeded expectations, a result of higher energy prices.
There were other notable gainers. Compass stock surged over 7% after the catering giant said it has regained pre-covid revenue performances.
Publicis stock rose 2.3% after the world’s third-biggest advertising agency released 2021 earnings showing sales growth of 4% to 5%.
On the losing end were BBVA whose stock fell 3% and ING that saw its stock slump 4.2%, despite both banks increasing their net profits in Q4.
EU policy to remain the same
The ECB is likely to keep policy unchanged but pressure is mounting on the institution to take measures after recent data showed Eurozone inflation rising to 5.1% in January, the highest ever for the region. And this is despite expectations for inflation to drop to 4.4%.
Tightening monetary policy is something the BoE has already started and is expected to deliver another rate hike later in the session.
Meanwhile, oil prices were lower Thursday but closer to multi-year highs, as support remains to keep crude supply moderate.
OPEC+ agreed on Wednesday to add 400,000 barrels per day to its crude output.
In parallel, US crude stockpiles fell by 1 million barrels last week, counter to what was expected.
US crude futures traded 0.5% lower at $87.82 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.4% to $89.12.
Additionally, gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,805.25/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower.