European Shares Inch Higher In Cautious Trade

(RTTNews) - European stocks were slightly higher on Wednesday amid bets of global interest rates peaking.

Investors shrugged off data from Destatis showing that German factory orders decreased for the first time in three months, mainly due to weaker demand for machinery and equipment.

Factory orders dropped 3.7 percent month-on-month in October, reversing the 0.7 percent increase in September.

The euro was in a defensive mode while Euro zone government bond yields hit multi-month lows after ECB official Isabel Schnabel told Reuters further interest rate hikes are "rather unlikely".

Germany's 10-year government bond yield, the benchmark for the euro area, traded down 0.5 basis point at 2.23 percent to hit a fresh 7-month low.

Reports on Eurozone monthly retail sales, U.S. ADP Non-Farm Employment Change and weekly crude inventories may attract investor attention later in the day.

Investors also await a speech by Bank of England Governor Bailey.

The pan European STOXX 600 was up 0.2 percent at 468.72 after rising 0.4 percent on Tuesday.

The German DAX edged up 0.1 percent, France's CAC 40 was marginally higher and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent.

Swiss drug major Novartis AG climbed 1.2 percent after an announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its Fabhalta (iptacopan) as the first oral monotherapy to treat adults with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.

Clariant AG, a specialty chemicals company, fell about 1 percent. The company announced that it will shut down its Sunliquid bioethanol production in Podari, Romania, and downsize its related operations in in Germany.

Higher base metal prices boosted mining stocks, with Anglo American and Glencore rising 2-3 percent.

Ocado Group added 1.6 percent after JPMorgan upgraded its ratings for the online commerce technology firm.

British American Tobacco slumped 7.5 percent. The tobacco and nicotine giant scaled back its expectations for organic growth this year and announced a massive £25bn impairment charge.

TUI AG soared 9 percent after the travel giant announced a potential move of its stock market listing from London to Frankfurt.

Ten Entertainment Group, an operator of ten-pin bowling centers, jumped 31 percent after it reached a deal with Neon Buyer Limited allowing its cash acquisition by Bidco for 412.5 pence per share.

Fresenius SE shares declined 1.4 percent. The German healthcare group said it would utilize the governmental compensation and reimbursement payments for German hospitals, amounting to up to 300 million euros, as stipulated in the relief package.

Merck KgaA shares plunged 17 percent after the science and technology major said its two-Phase III EVOLUTION clinical trials of evobrutinib in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis did not meet their primary endpoints.

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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