Sunday, 19 May 2024

European shares join global trade war relief rally

LONDON (Reuters) – European shares joined a global relief rally on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump fueled hopes among investors that a deal to end a prolonged dispute over trade could be made with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later this month.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.9 percent by 0936 GMT, hitting its highest since Oct. 10, although companies and indexes most exposed to trade surged further.

“The trade war has been partly to blame for the recent equities rout, so any signs that the two powers are making progress will encourage investors to put risk back on the table and pick up stocks at bargain levels”, wrote Jasper Lawler from London Capital Group.

Fears of a full-blown trade war, rising U.S. bond yields, slowing Chinese growth, political risk in the form of Brexit or Italy’s populist government have all been blamed for last month “red October” during which indexes worldwide sustained some of their worst losses since the 2008 financial crisis.

Markets’ new found optimism is however pushing European shares up over four percent this week, their best performance since December 2016.

Germany’s DAX .GDAXI jumped 1.6 percent, in what would be its biggest daily rise since July, lifted by the big exporters among its constituents, such as car maker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), up 4 percent.

The European automotive index .SXAP was the best performing one, jumping 3.5 percent and all other sectors were in positive territory except for a minority of defensive sectors. Both telecoms or utilities traded slightly or on the verge of negative territory.

Boosted by a upgrade from Goldman Sachs, France’s Kering topped the euro zone blue chip index .STOXX50E with a 5.5 percent rise. Other luxury stocks such as LVMH (LVMH.PA) or Burberry (BRBY.L) did well, up 3.1 percent and 3.5 percent.

Following Asia’s lead, European tech stocks shrugged off Apple’s (AAPL.O) disappointing results, which saw the iPhone marker’s shares tumbled about seven percent after the bell.

Apple supplier AMS however was down 5.3 percent and suffered the worst losses in the pan-European index.

The banking sector .SX7P was showing no angst about the results of European stress tests which will be divulged after the close.

Italian lenders are under the spotlight with their heavy exposure to sovereign Italian debt, which is suffering from the populist government’s spending plans and its row with the EU’s executive body.

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