European Markets Close Higher On Growth Hopes

(RTTNews) - European stocks closed on a firm note on Tuesday, buoyed by recent strong economic data out of the U.S. and China, and an upward revision in global growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Reports about several countries, including France, extending lockdown measures, capped markets' upside.

The IMF raised its global growth projections for this year and next, citing huge fiscal stimulus in some big economies and a vaccine-driven recovery in the future.

The world economy is set to grow 6% this year and 4.4% next year, the global lender said in its latest World Economic Outlook report, released Tuesday.

In a January update to the WEO, the IMF had projected growth of 5.5% and 4.2%, respectively.

The Eurozone growth forecast for this year was lifted to 4.4% and the projection for next year was boosted to 3.8%. The IMF also upgraded the projections for the big four - Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

The UK growth forecasts for this year and next were raised to 5.3% and 5.1%.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.7%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 1.28%, Germany's DAX gained 0.7% and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.47%, while Switzerland's SMI ended 0.58% up.

Among other markets in Europe, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden closed with sharp to moderate gains. Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark and Finland ended with modest gains, while Russia and Turkey ended notably lower.

In the UK market, Antofagasta, BP, Hargreaves Lansdown, Compass Group, Entain, Scottish Mortgage, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Rio Tinto, Burberry Group, Rolls-Royce Holdings, 3i Group, IAG, BHP Group, Diageo, Anglo American and BAE Systems gained 2 to 4%.

BT Group, Next, Bunzl, Just Eat Takeaway, Reckitt Benckiser and Experian ended with sharp to moderate losses.

In the French market, Accor, Pernod Ricard, LOreal, ArcelorMittal, Publicis Groupe, Air France-KLM, Sodexo, Bouygues and Valeo ended stronger by 1 to 4%. Atos ended sharply lower, extending recent losses.

In Germany, Thyssenkrupp, Volkswagen, Lufthansa, SAP, Adidas, Fresenius, Covestro, BASF and Deutsche Post gained 1 to 3.3%, while Deutsche Telekom, MTU Aero Engines, Beiersdorf and RWE ended notably lower.

In economic releases, Eurozone investor confidence reached its strongest level in more than two years in April as lockdowns in many euro area countries had little effect on the overall economic recovery, survey data from Sentix showed.

The investor confidence index rose sharply to 13.1 in April from 5.0 in March. This was the highest level since August 2018 and well above economists' forecast of 7.5.

Although the Eurozone economy recently lagged significantly behind the global trend, it started to catch up in April, the survey revealed.

New car registrations in the U.K. climbed 12% annually in March, the first month of growth since August, an industry body said - adding to investor optimism about the economic recovery.

The closely watched report from the Labor Department released on Friday showed employment in the U.S. spiked by much more than expected in the month of March. The report said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 916,000 jobs in March after climbing by an upwardly revised 468,000 jobs in February.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 647,000 jobs compared to the addition of 379,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

China's service sector growth accelerated in March, driven by steeper increases in activity and overseas sales, survey results from IHS Markit showed earlier today.

The Caixin Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 54.3 from 51.5 in February. The survey showed that new orders increased at the fastest pace in three months despite a slight drop in export business.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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