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12 Mar 2021 | 08:12

Europe open: Shares lower as bond yields rise again

(Sharecast News) - European shares opened the final session of the week lower as rising bond yields overnight took some of the momentum out of a positive week. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.24% at 0841 GMT. Regional bourses were mixed, with London's FTSE 100 fell 0.23% after official data showed the economy contracted less than feared in January in response to the latest Covid-19 lockdown.

January GDP showed the economy shrank by 2.9% as the lockdown hit the hospitality and leisure sectors hard. However, it was lower than the 4.9% predicted by economists.

Germany's DAX was in the red, down 0.33% having been 0.6% lower, or 90 points, in early trade after solid gains all week.

"There's not a whole lot on the agenda to change things up this Friday, which could mean a historic, newsworthy week ends with a whimper, not a bang," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

In equity news, British luxury goods group Burberry topped the gainers, jumping 7.2% after lifting full year guidance as sales had rebounded strongly since December.

German carmaker Daimler slipped after French rival Renault sold its entire stake in the company at a discount.

Hammerson shares were up 5% despite the shopping centre owner reporting a more-than-doubling of annual losses as the value of its properties dropped and rental income plunged during the Covid-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, shares in housebuilder Berkeley Group fell after the firm said it was on track to report annual pretax profit similar to the £504m achieved the year before based on "robust" trading in the four months to the end of February.

Forward sales are expected to be more than £1.7bn at the end of the year on 30 April putting the housebuilder in a strong position to start the next financial year.
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