European Shares Rise On Growth Optimism

European stocks were mostly higher on Friday as the prospects of more fiscal stimulus under the Biden administration and the rollout of coronavirus vaccines raised hopes for an economic recovery.

Investors cheered upbeat economic data from Germany showing both industrial output and exports rose more than expected in November.

Elsewhere, data showed Britain’s job market strengthened for the first time in three months in December.

Focus now turns to the all-important U.S. non-farm payrolls data due later in the day, with economists expecting employment to rise by 71,000 jobs in December after an increase of 245,000 jobs in November.

The unemployment rate is expected to inch up to 6.8 percent from 6.7 percent.

The pan European Stoxx 600 rose half a percent to 410.55, while the German DAX was up 0.6 percent and France’s CAC 40 index gained 0.2 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 was marginally lower in choppy trade.

British homebuilder Barratt Developments jumped 3.1 percent. The company expects to resume dividends next month after first-half sales rate rose 12 percent to 0.77 net private reservations per active outlet a week.

Retailer Marks & Spencer declined 1.7 percent as it reported another big fall in sales of clothing and homewares in the three months leading up to Christmas.

Foams and composites company Essentra soared 4.8 percent. The company said it was expecting to deliver 2020 operating profit in line with the consensus forecasts.

French food services and facilities management company Sodexo surged almost 7 percent after its revenue trend improved in the latest quarter, despite the start of the second wave or Covid-19 in November.

Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics jumped 4 percent. The company said its preliminary fourth quarter net revenues are above the business outlook range provided on October 22, 2020.

Infineon Technologies soared 6.3 percent and ASM International advanced 2.3 percent after global peers Micron Technology Inc and Samsung Electronics reported strong quarterly earnings.

Swiss bank Credit Suisse tumbled 3.2 percent after saying it expects to increase provisions for the MBIA case and other RMBS-related cases by a total of $850 million.

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