Earnings, economic data on the agenda

LONDON — European markets advanced on Friday as investors digested a fresh swathe of corporate earnings and awaited key economic data out of the euro zone.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.8% by mid-morning, with construction and material stocks adding 2.4% to lead gains as all sectors entered positive territory except health care, which slipped 0.2%.

Economic growth in the euro zone accelerated in the second quarter, official figures showed Friday, despite the escalating gas crisis and record-high inflation.

The 19-member bloc posted a 0.7% rise in GDP, exceeding expectations for growth of 0.2% and contrasting sharply with the negative readings out of the United States in the first and second quarter..

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed overnight, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropping more than 2% as tech shares took a hit. Mainland Chinese shares also pulled back after Chinese leaders on Thursday signaled Beijing is unlikely to try to boost the economy, and downplayed the country’s gross domestic product target of “around 5.5%.”

US stock futures rose in early premarket trade on Friday as strong quarterly reports from major tech companies, including Amazon and Apple, supported risk sentiment among investors.

The positive sentiment stateside comes despite a surprise 0.9% decline in US GDP in the second quarter, confirmed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday and deepening fears of a possible recession.

Corporate earnings continue to drive individual share price movement in Europe. Standard Chartered, Santander, Renault, Air France-KLM, BNP Paribas, AstraZeneca, Engie and Swiss Re were among the major players reporting before the bell on Friday.

At the top of the Stoxx 600, Spanish-based investment company Allfunds Group gained 10.9% after its first-half earnings report.

At the bottom of the index, Austrian electronics company ams-OSRAM fell 8.4% after its quarterly results.

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