European markets open to close, China data, U.S. bank earnings

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Shares of Germany's Uniper jumped 6% after Fortum, Finland's majority owner of Uniper, reportedly said it was forced to consider all options to ensure the security of European energy markets.

Uniper was the first German energy company to sound the alarm over soaring energy bills due to reduced supplies of Russian gas. It asked the German government for a bailout last week.

At the top of the European benchmark, Swedish IVF products company Vitrolife climbed more than 15% after posting a strong EBITDA.

Swedish engineering firm Sweco plunged more than 16% and compatriot medtech company AddLife fell 10% after their respective second-quarter results.

In Asia, Chinese markets finished mostly lower after Beijing's gross domestic product growth figures came in weaker than anticipated. The world's second-largest economy eked out second-quarter GDP growth of 0.4% from a year ago, missing expectations as the economy struggled to shake off the impact of Covid controls. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast growth of 1% in the second quarter.

It comes after a fresh wave of global interest rate hikes exacerbated fears about the outlook for economic growth.

The Bank of Canada surprised markets with a full percentage point rate hike, while central banks in South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and the Philippines all took action to tighten monetary policy to tackle soaring inflation.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is also seen stepping up its monetary policy action after an unexpectedly hot inflation print.

On Wall Street, stocks jumped on Friday as traders digested a fresh batch of bank earnings and retail sales for June that came in ahead of expectations. Citigroup jumped 5.2% as it beat estimates and benefited from a rising rate environment.

Back in Europe, political uncertainty returned to Rome on Thursday after the country's president rejected Prime Minister Mario Draghi's offer to resign.

Draghi said he would quit as Italian leader after a political party in his ruling coalition refused to participate in a confidence vote earlier in the day. Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected Draghi's resignation and asked him to address Parliament to get a clear picture of the political situation.

— CNBC's Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.


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