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Europe close: Stocks add to recent gains ahead of US jobs report

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Thursday 05 Aug 2021

Europe close: Stocks add to recent gains ahead of US jobs report

(Sharecast News) - European shares nudged record highs on Thursday, continuing their rally on strong earnings news and as investors waited on the monthly US jobs report due out the next day.
"Improved [US] jobless claims data released today provided a more positive outlook in the wake of yesterday's sharp decline in the ADP payrolls figure. With initial jobless claims back down to 385k, we are now looking at a welcome second consecutive weekly decline in this key leading employment report," said IG senior market analyst, Josh Mahony.

"However, despite a welcome improvement, we are still looking at highly elevated initial claims compared with the average 2019 figure of around 200k."

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.3% at 469.61. France's Cac-40 gained 0.48% to 6,778.52 and Germany's DAX was ahead at 15,737.58.

The UK's FTSE 100 was 0.2% lower at 7,109.31 ahead of an interest rate decision from the Bank of England later in the day.

The bank is expected to maintain its massive stimulus program despite continued recovery from Covid-19 pandemic lows and a rebound in inflation.

In corporate news diagnostics group Eurofins saw its shares surge 11% after reporting record first-half earnings and raising its full-year outlook.

Shares in German skincare manufacturer Beiersdorf gained almost 5% after strong results.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck saw its shares rise after second-quarter profits beat expectations, on the back of increased demand for lab equipment and supplies for developing Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.

French lender Credit Agricole's shares dipped despite profit for the latest three-month stretch also doubling, reaching €1.97bn from €954m this time last year.

Paper and packaging group Mondi rose after reporting higher sales volumes and better average selling prices in its first half.

German online fashion retailer Zalando dropped 5% despite reporting that it expects 2021 operating profit to come in at the upper end of its forecast range as sales rose 34% in the second quarter despite the easing of coronavirus lockdowns.

Danish company Novo Nordisk advanced after it raised its full-year forecast and posted above-forecast quarterly earnings on strong sales and demand for its new obesity drug.

Stock in German industrial firm Siemens climbed as it lifted its profit guidance for the third time this year.

WPP gained as the advertising giant upgraded its outlook and boosted shareholder returns after swinging back to profit in the first half of 2021.



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