Ukraine, commodity prices, ECB in focus

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LONDON — European stocks were lower on Thursday amid a volatile week, as investors monitor the war in Ukraine and fluctuations in commodity prices.

The European Central Bank on Thursday opted to keep interest rates steady, remaining cautious as it assesses the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But it announced that it will wind down asset purchases faster than planned, before adding that it stands ready to revisit this decision if the outlook changes.

On the corporate front, Hugo Boss reported earnings before the bell on Thursday, while Credit Suisse released its annual report and Deutsche Bank presented its Investor Deep Dive.

At the top of the Stoxx 600, German chemicals company K+S jumped more than 7% after reporting a surge in fourth-quarter profit and exceeding dividend and free cash flow projections.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, British housebuilder Persimmon slide 8%.

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