European Shares Extend Gains On Stimulus Optimism

European Shares Extend Gains On Stimulus Optimism

September 10, 2020

European stocks rose on Thursday as the euro extended its losing run to the longest since June and the French government said it will unveil a €100 billion stimulus package, representing 4 percent on French GDP, to kick start the economy hit hard by the global Covid-19 health crisis.

Meanwhile, investors shrugged off a pair of disappointing economic reports.

Eurozone service activity barely expanded in August but the PMI reading came in above the flash reading, indicating improving conditions. IHS Markit’s Eurozone services purchasing managers index stood at 50.5 in August versus 54.7 in July. That marked a slight increase from the flash reading of 50.1.

Separately, Eurozone retail sales fell unexpectedly in July on weak non-food products turnover, data from Eurostat showed.

Retail sales declined 1.3 percent month-on-month, following a 5.3 percent rise in June. This was the first drop in three months and confounded expectations for an increase of 1.5 percent.

On a yearly basis, growth in retail sales slowed to 0.4 percent from 1.3 percent in June. Economists had forecast an annual growth of 3.5 percent.

Elsewhere, a closely-watched survey showed the U.K.’s services sector experienced its sharpest rise in business activity in more than five years in August.

IHS Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reading for the services sector came in at 58.8 in August, up from 56.5 in July, and sharply higher than the record low of 13.4 in April.

The pan European Stoxx 600 rose 1 percent to 374.98 after climbing 1.7 percent on Wednesday. The German DAX rallied 1.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 index jumped 1.8 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.7 percent.

SAP SE shares rose half a percent. The Competition and Markets Authority has launched its merger inquiry regarding the anticipated acquisition by Sinch of the SAP Digital Interconnect Unit from SAP.

Siemens Healthineers tumbled 3.6 percent after raising 2.73 billion euros ($3.22 billion) from a share sale to help finance its planned takeover of U.S. peer Varian.

Sanofi shares gained more than 1 percent. The French drugmaker and its British peer GlaxoSmithKline announced the start of Phase 1/2 clinical trial for their adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccine, with total of 440 healthy adults being enrolled across 11 investigational sites in the United States. GlaxoSmithKline rose half a percent.

Capgemini SE rallied 2.4 percent. The consulting and IT services provider projected revenue growth at constant exchange rates of between 12.5 percent and 14.0 percent for 2020.

Melrose Industries surged as much as 11.5 percent. After reporting a pretax loss of 685 million pounds for the six months ended 30 June 2020, the turnaround specialist noted that its trading over the summer months has been at the higher end of the Board’s expectations, particularly in automotive and key Nortek markets.

RPS Group, an energy and environment consultancy company, jumped nearly 13 percent after launching an accelerated fundraising.

Travel and leisure stocks were moving higher on hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine. EasyJet soared 5.4 percent, International Consolidated Airlines Group jumped 5.9 percent and TUI advanced 4.3 percent.

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