European Shares Gain On Growth Optimism
European stocks rose on Friday to reach fresh record highs as strong data out of the United States and China boosted hopes for a swift economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The pan European Stoxx 600 rose half a percent to 440.62 after Wall Street saw a record-setting session overnight.
The German DAX climbed 0.9 percent, France’s CAC 40 index rose half a percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.7 percent.
Dutch bank ING gained 1.8 percent after announcing its plan to separate the Management Board Banking roles for technology and operations.
Miners Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta rose 1-2 percent while oil & gas firm BP Plc gained 0.8 percent.
Online supermarket Ocado Group advanced 1.5 percent. The company announced that it has commercially partnered with Oxford -based autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica Ltd to develop a range of vehicles that will be integrated into the Ocado smart platform.
Essentra also gained 1.5 percent after reporting first quarter trading in line with expectations.
Cosmetics and beauty products giant L’Oreal Co. fell nearly 2 percent despite the company posting solid sales growth in the first quarter.
Automaker Daimler rallied 2.7 percent after its preliminary results for the first-quarter of 2021 came in significantly above market expectations, driven by higher vehicle prices and strong demand for its Mercedes-Benz cars, particularly in China.
BMW, Volkswagen and Renault rose 1-3 percent after industry data showed Europe’s new car registrations surged in March due to last year’s exceptionally low base of comparison caused by the strict Covid-19 restrictions introduced in most markets in March 2020.
Registrations of new passenger cars increased 87.3 percent annually, in contrast to February’s 19.3 percent decline.
Saint-Gobain rose over 1 percent after it agreed to sell 67 percent of its Pipe business in China to a consortium led by local management.
HeidelbergCement rallied 2 percent. The cement maker said that its preliminary results for the first quarter of 2021 were significantly above market expectations.
Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG shares jumped 14 percent. The company reported that its preliminary operating result for the first quarter 2021 increased 76.4 percent.
Meal-kit maker HelloFresh surged 4 percent after lifting its 2021 revenue guidance.
In economic releases, Eurozone consumer prices increased as initially estimated in March, final data from Eurostat showed.
Inflation accelerated to 1.3 percent in March from 0.9 percent in February. This was the third consecutive rise in prices and matched flash estimate released on March 31.
The euro area trade surplus declined in February as exports decreased amid rising imports, Eurostat reported.
The trade surplus rose to a seasonally adjusted EUR 18.4 billion in February from EUR 28.7 billion in January. Exports decreased 2.5 percent month-on-month, while imports were up 3.4 percent in February.
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