European Shares Inch Higher In Cautious Trade
European stocks inched higher in cautious trade on Tuesday as investors clung to hopes of a Brexit trade deal and a U.S. coronavirus relief plan.
Market participants are pinning hopes for a new round of stimulus in the U.S. after a bipartisan group of senators presented a new fiscal stimulus compromise worth $748bn.
Adding to the positive sentiment, Chinese data released earlier today showed the economic recovery in the world’s second-largest economy broadened in November.
The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.2 percent to 392.68 after rising 0.4 percent in the previous session.
The German DAX gained 0.7 percent, France’s CAC 40 index advanced 0.6 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent.
The British pound held steady amid some positive news on the Brexit trade deal talks, with Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, saying there was some “movement” over sticking points.
Meanwhile, London will move into England’s highest tier of Covid-19 restrictions on Wednesday, with additional curbs on restaurants and socializing due to increased infection rates that may be partly linked to a new variant of the coronavirus.
Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB tumbled 3.5 percent after its fourth-quarter net sales amounted to 52.54 billion Swedish kronor, down from 61.69 billion kronor a year ago.
Spanish clothing company Inditex gave up 2.2 percent after reporting a drop in earnings.
German sugar producer Suedzucker fell 1.5 percent after cutting its FY outlook.
Retail group Metro AG jumped over 6 percent after reporting a rise in full-year 2020 net income.
AstraZeneca fell over 2 percent on worries about the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker’s $39bn acquisition of Alexion.
WPP rose over 1 percent. The world’s biggest advertising company said it would restate its financial statements for 2017, 2018 and 2019 to comply with accounting rules.
IG Group Holdings rallied 2.5 percent. The online trading broker said that net trading revenues in the first half of the year will be around two thirds higher than last year.
In economic releases, the U.K. unemployment increased in three months to October and the employment rate declined as the pandemic weighed on job creation.
The unemployment rate rose to 4.9 percent in three months to October, the Office for National Statistics reported.
Economists had forecast the rate to climb to 5.1 percent from 4.8 percent registered in three months to September.
The number of people looking for jobs increased by 241,000 from the previous quarter.
French consumer price inflation turned positive in November as initially estimated, driven by food and services prices, final data from the statistical office Insee showed.
Consumer prices gained 0.2 percent year-on-year in November, after remaining stable over the previous two months. The rate came in line with the preliminary estimate released on November 27.
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