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European Stocks Edge Higher; Covid Restrictions in Focus, Mulberry Soars

Stock MarketsNov 24, 2021 03:29AM ET
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By Peter Nurse -- European stock markets edged higher Wednesday, rebounding from the previous session’s sharp losses, as investors await a big U.S. data dump and the presentation of the new German government's coalition agreement.

At 3:30 AM ET (0830 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.1% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.5% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 also climbed 0.5%.

The three German parties forming the new government will hold a press conference at 9 AM ET (1400 GMT) to present their coalition agreement, which will lay out the policy goals and the division of competences between the center-left Social Democrats, the free-market Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

Before then, the German Ifo institute will release its monthly business climate survey, and hopes for this have risen in the wake of strong purchasing manager indices for November and a better than expected result from the latest French business survey.  

On Tuesday, the flash composite PMI for the Eurozone's largest economy rose to 52.8, from 52.0 in October, suggesting that the slowdown in economic growth seen across the private sector over the previous three months is levelling off.

The key variable is whether economic momentum can be sustained as the latest wave of Covid-19, which is again the number one cause of death in the region. The total of Covid-19 deaths across Europe will exceed two million by March next year, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

Germany is expected to make a decision on stricter measures on Wednesday after hitting a fresh high for new infections on Tuesday. France recorded more than 30,000 new daily infections on Tuesday for the first time since August, while the Netherlands also hit a new weekly record.

Market participants will also scrutinize the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy committee's November meeting later in the session for signs that the pace of tapering could accelerate, potentially bringing forward the timetable for interest rate increases.

In the corporate sector, Mulberry (LON:MUL) stock rose over 15% after the British luxury brand said business is returning to pre-pandemic levels, reporting a 34% jump in first-half revenue helped by strong sales in the U.K. and growth in Asia.

Britvic (LON:BVIC) stock rose 3.1% after the soft drinks maker reported a jump in annual profits as pandemic restrictions eased, prompting it to lift its dividend despite cost pressures.

Crude prices edged higher Wednesday after Tuesday’s announcement of a coordinated release of oil from government reserves, led by the U.S., fell short of expectations, raising doubts about the effectiveness of the move.

The U.S. said it will release 50 million barrels, in concert with China, Japan, India, South Korea and the U.K. in an effort to tame prices, but influential investment bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) estimated that the market had already priced in more than 100 million barrels.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude stocks rose last week, according to the industry body the American Petroleum Institute, with inventories climbing 2.3 million barrels against expectations of a decline by about 500,000 barrels.

By 3:30 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% higher at $78.86 a barrel, after climbing 2.3% on Tuesday, their biggest gain in two weeks, while the Brent contract rose 0.4% to $82.66, having gained 3.3% on Tuesday. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,792.90/oz, while EUR/USD edged lower to 1.1242.


European Stocks Edge Higher; Covid Restrictions in Focus, Mulberry Soars

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