European Shares Gain On Earnings, PMI Data

(RTTNews) - European stocks were broadly higher on Thursday as investors cheered strong earnings reports and provisional survey data from S&P Global showing that Eurozone private sector shrank at the slowest pace in eight months in February.

The flash composite output index posted 48.9 in February, up from 47.9 in the previous month.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to a seven-month high of 50.0 from 48.4 a month ago while the manufacturing PMI fell to 46.1 from 46.6 a month ago.

"There is a glimmer of hope as the eurozone inches towards recover", Hamburg Commercial Bank Economist Norman Liebke said.

The pan European STOXX 600 was up half a percent at 493.49 after declining 0.2 percent on Wednesday.

The German DAX climbed 1 percent, France's CAC 40 added 0.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was marginally higher. Infineon Technologies surged 4.1 percent and ASM International soared 6.3 percent after unexpectedly strong revenue forecasts from U.S. chip giant Nvidia.

Nestle lost more than 4 percent. The world's largest packaged food company missed full-year organic sales estimates.

Zurich Insurance gained 2.2 percent on share buyback news.

Repsol S.A. added 4.4 percent. The Spanish energy and petrochemical company announced the Strategic Update 2024-2027, committing 4.6 billion euros cash dividend.

British drug maker AstraZeneca dropped 1.6 percent on going ex-dividend.

Advertising giant WPP tumbled 3 percent despite delivering full-year results largely in line with expectations.

Lloyds Banking Group declined 1.3 percent despite reporting a significant increase in annual profit.

Rolls-Royce soared 6.4 percent. The engineering firm forecast improved performance in 2024 after annual profit more than doubled last year.

Anglo American gained 3.2 percent. The mining giant said it would buy and integrate Vale SA's Serpentina project with its adjacent Minas-Rio mine in Brazil.

French energy company ENGIE jumped 2.5 percent after raising its 2024 financial guidance.

Hotel group Accor soared 3.6 percent after annual core profit topped forecasts. AXA advanced 3.5 percent. The insurer launched a share buyback after reporting higher FY23 underlying profit.

German automaker Mercedes-Benz surged 4.3 percent after lifting dividend and forecasting stable revenues in FY24.

Krones rallied 3.2 percent. The packaging and bottling machine maker reported a rise in preliminary net profit for the full year, reflecting an improvement in revenue.

Gerresheimer, a maker of packaging products for medication and drug delivery devices, soared 12 percent after reporting a rise in Q4 adjusted profit.

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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