European Stocks Closed Higher On Economic Data, Stimulus Hopes,

(RTTNews) – European stocks closed modestly higher on Thursday as fairly decent economic data from the zone, optimism about a U.S. coronavirus relief package, and positive lead from Wall Street aided sentiment.

Worries about continued surge in new coronavirus cases limited markets’ uptick. Although reports about progress in Brexit negotiations helped a bit, there seems to be certain areas where the U.K. and the EU are still some way off from patching up differences.

The pan European Stoxx 600 advanced 0.2%. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.23%, France’s CAC 40 ended higher by 0.43%, Switzerland’s SMI moved up 0.5%, while Germany’s DAX slid 0.23%.

Among other markets in Europe, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain ended higher.

Austria, Czech Republic, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Russia and Turkey closed weak, while Belgium and Sweden ended flat.

In the UK market, Fresnillo, Ds Smith, Coca-Cola, Barratt Developments, Mondi, Standard Life, Royal Mail, M&G and Burberry Group gained 2.5 to 4%.

3i Group, National Grid, Berkeley Group, Smiths, Segro, Meggitt, United Utilities and Associated British Foods also rose sharply.

Rolls-Royce Holdings shares tumbled more than 10% after the company announced plans to raise 2 billion pounds by selling shares to existing investors.

DCC ended nearly 7% down. Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Carnival, Intercontinental, Hiscox, GVC Holdings, IAG, Royal Bank and British American Tobacco were among the other major losers.

In France, STMicroElectronics surged up more than 7% after raising its 2020 revenue outlook.

Airbus Group shares gained more than 4%. WorldLine, LVMH, ArcelorMittal, Kering and Teleperformance gained 2 to 2.5%.

Among the losers in the CAC 40 index, Renault fell more than 4%. Unibail Rodamco shed about 3.8% and Accor declined 3%. Societe Generale, Bouygues, Sodexo, Credit Agricole and Peugeot also ended notably lower.

In the German market, Infineon Technologies spurted more than 7%. RWE and Continental gained more than 2.5% each. Daimler, Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, Merck and Adidas also closed higher.

Shares of pharmaceutical major Bayer plunged more than 12% after the company lowered its guidance. The company has also unveiled plans to cut jobs and exit non-strategic businesses or brands, as the coronavirus pandemic impacts its businesses. It expects to take a non-cash impairment charges on agricultural business due to low commodity prices.

Thyssenkrupp declined 4%. Volkswagen, HeidelbergCement, Deutsche Bank, BASF, Allianz, Siemens, Lufthansa and Wirecard lost 1 to 3%.

Swedish firm Hennes & Mauritz AB gained nearly 8% after posting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

In economic releases, IHS Markit’s final Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 53.7 in September from August’s 51.7, in line with an earlier flash reading and its highest level since August 2018.

Eurozone’s unemployment rate rose for a fifth consecutive month in August, Eurostat said. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 8.1% from 8% in July, which was revised from 7.8%. The latest rate was in line with economists’ expectations.

Euro area producer prices continued to fall in August, though the pace of decline slowed more-than-expected, preliminary data showed.

The UK manufacturing sector continued its recovery from the coronavirus-induced economic slump in September, but the pace of growth was slightly less than initially estimated, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index for manufacturing fell slightly to 54.1 from August’s two-and-a-half year high of 55.2.

Data from the Federal Statistical Office showed Switzerland’s consumer prices declined further in September and retail sales grew.

The consumer price index decreased 0.8% year-on-year in September, following a 0.9% fall in August. Economists had expected a 0.7% fall. On a monthly basis, consumer prices remained unchanged in August. This was in line with economists’ expectation.

Separate data from the statistical office showed that the retail sales grew a working-day adjusted 2.5% year-on-year in August. On a monthly basis, seasonally adjusted retail sales fell 1.9% in August.

Survey data revealed that the procure.ch Swiss manufacturing PMI rose to 53.1 in September from 51.8 in August. Economists had expected a reading of 54.0.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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