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European stocks higher as markets digest data and earnings

Economic IndicatorsJan 31, 2017 05:34AM ET
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© Reuters. European equities move higher after positive data and mixed earnings – European stocks traded higher on Tuesdays as investors digested key data for the euro area and a deluge of earnings reports.

Nearing midday in Europe, the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 gained 0.39%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.29%, and Germany’s DAX 30 edged forward 0.10%.

A wash of data from the euro zone released on Tuesday was positive with fourth quarter growth in the region rising 0.5% from the July to September period and 1.8% from the year before.

Unemployment in the euro area also unexpectedly fell to 9.6% in December, its lowest since May 2009.

Meanwhile, inflation recovered in January, hitting a nearly four-year high of 1.8% compared to expectations for a rise of only 1.6%. The headline figure nears the European Central Bank’s (ECB) target a little over a month before its next policy decision on March 9.

On the earnings front, Ocado (LON:OCDO) was one of the biggest advancers on the Stoxx 600 of nearly 7% after the British online grocer reported a 22% jump in pre-tax profit.

H & M (ST:HMb) also saw shares pop nearly 6% after the Swedish clothing retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly profit.

On the downside, UPM-Kymmene (HE:UPM1V) tumbled more than 9% leading the Stoxx 600 lower as the Finnish pulp and paper firm gave a cautious full-year outlook.

Meanwhile, oil prices showed mixed trade on Tuesday but were on track to end January with a loss of about 4% as sentiment has been torn between expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production and hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers.

Energy stocks were trading higher, as French oil and gas major Total SA (PA:TOTF) gained 0.64%, Italy’s ENI (MI:ENI) rose 0.90%, while Norwegian rival Statoil (OL:STL) inched up 0.06%.

Financial stocks also registered gains, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) rose 1.18% and 0.26%, while Germany’s Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) jumped 2.42% and 1.48%, respectively.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) edged forward 0.09% and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) gained 0.84%, respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) traded up 1.38% and 1.15%, respectively.

In London, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.53%, boosted by gains in basic resources.

Shares in Glencore (LON:GLEN) advanced 1.42%, Anglo American (LON:AAL) jumped 2.14%, while BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) traded up 2.33% and 1.57%, respectively.

Energy stocks traded lower, as BP (LON:BP) gained 0.39% and rival Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) rose 1.39%.

Financial stocks were broadly higher as shares in HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) traded up 1.00% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) gained 0.27%, while Barclays (LON:BARC) and Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) rose 0.04% and 1.16%, respectively.

In the U.S., Wall Street pointed a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.24%, S&P 500 futures dropped 0.20%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures lost 0.23%.

European stocks higher as markets digest data and earnings

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