LONDON — European markets closed mixed on Wednesday as investors continued to assess the prospect of China’s reopening and the possible headwinds coming down the pike in 2023.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index reversed initial gains to inch 0.1% below the flatline by the close, with technology shares slumping 0.9% while basic resources stocks rose 0.6%.
European stocks were buoyed earlier Tuesday after China officially announced that it will end quarantine for inbound travelers on Jan. 8 — symbolizing an end to the zero-Covid policy that it has held for nearly three years. Britain’s FTSE 100 was closed for a public holiday on Tuesday and reopened Wednesday, finishing the session up 0.4%.
With three trading days left for the year, global stock markets have suffered a dismal 2022 as governments and central banks grappled with sky-high inflation arising from the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine and persistent Covid-19 restrictions in China.
Markets are now wary of the prospect of an imminent recession and a potentially prolonged period of sluggish economic growth, with one economist telling CNBC on Tuesday that most major economies would be “lucky” to achieve 1% GDP growth per annum for much of the next decade.
Shares in Asia-Pacific mostly fell overnight after further losses on Wall Street Tuesday, with U.S. stock markets on track for their worst year since 2008. Stock futures stateside inched fractionally higher in early premarket trade on Wednesday.