European stocks fell on Thursday as investors fret over persistent inflation and aggressive central bank action, while disappointing results from chip equipment company BE Semiconductor and telecommunications company Nokia fueled sentiment. fears of an economic slowdown.

Nokia fell 4.1% after the Finnish telecoms equipment maker’s quarterly operating profit missed analysts’ expectations. Its competitor, Ericsson, also posted lower-than-expected profits.

BE Semiconductor fell 2.8% after forecasting a drop in fourth-quarter revenue, warning that restrictions on US exports to China added more uncertainty to the outlook for the sector.

The unfavorable outlook prompted a sell-off in the chip sector, with ASM International, ASML Holding and Aixtron all down 0.8%-2%.

The STOXX 600 index fell 0.4%, extending declines for the second day in a row, as a series of worrying inflation data stoked fears that central banks might have to remain aggressive and dented optimism following recent reports. of results

Putting further pressure on equities, the 10-year German government bond yield rose to 2.43%, hitting its highest since August 2011.

However, Finnish banking group Nordea beat profit estimates and handbag maker Hermès posted a strong increase in sales growth, with no signs of slowing. Nordea reversed early gains and was slightly lower, while Hermes rose 4.0%.

Among other securities, Swedish Match AB gained 2% after Philip Morris International raised its takeover offer for the nicotine product maker.

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