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European Stocks Edge Higher; Danone Surges as CEO Departs

Stock MarketsMar 15, 2021 04:44AM ET
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By Peter Nurse - European stock markets edged higher Monday, starting the week on a positive note following strong Chinese growth and ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting.

At 3:45 AM ET (0845 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.3% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.6%, climbing to its highest level in a year, and the U.K.'s FTSE index climbed 0.6%.

Earlier Monday, data showed economic activity in China soared at the start of the new year as the world’s second largest economy recovered from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Investors are also expecting strong growth figures out of the U.S. in the months to come, particularly after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package into law last week and with the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations proceeding at pace.

This positive tone has filtered through to Europe, with travel and leisure, automakers and food & beverage sectors among the top gainers.

In corporate news, Danone (PA:DANO) stock rose 4.7% after the French food group announced that Emmanuel Faber would step down as chairman and CEO after activist pressure.

Roche (SIX:RO) stock rose 0.8% after the Swiss pharmaceutical giant announced Monday plans to buy GenMarkDiagnostics, a U.S.-based maker of molecular diagnostic tests, in a $1.8 billion deal.

However, despite these gains, concerns are growing in Europe about the spread of the Covid-19 virus. 

On Friday, the head of Germany’s public health agency warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections has begun, while Italy is set to impose another national lockdown over the Easter weekend.

Additionally, a number of European countries, with Ireland becoming the latest, have suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine after reports of serious blood clotting in recipients.

Elsewhere, the Federal Reserve meets this week, and investors are starting to fret that rising inflation expectations could prompt the U.S. central bank to signal it will start raising rates sooner than originally envisaged.

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield stood at 1.635%, having risen to as high as 1.642% on Friday, a high last seen in February last year.

The Bank of England and the Bank of Japan also hold rate-setting meetings on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Oil prices climbed Monday, with the international benchmark Brent heading towards $70 a barrel on signs of strong Chinese economic growth, pointing to more demand from the world’s largest importer of oil.

U.S. crude futures traded 1% higher at $66.25 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.9% to $69.86, not far removed from the 13-month high seen last week.  

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,724.90/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.1936.


European Stocks Edge Higher; Danone Surges as CEO Departs

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Bhagwan Dass
Bhagwan Dass Mar 15, 2021 6:53AM ET
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big bogus trade in edible oil . Last five months daily New life time high
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