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Europe close: Stocks close higher as DAX hits new record

By Benjamin Chiou

Date: Tuesday 27 Feb 2024

(Sharecast News) - European stocks managed to finish with small gains on Tuesday following a subdued start, with Germany's DAX hitting yet another record high on the back of improving consumer confidence data.
The Stoxx 600 index finished 0.18% higher at 496.33, erasing earlier losses, as gains in Frankfurt, Paris and Milan offset a flat finish in London and losses in Madrid.

Germany's DAX closed up 0.76% at a new all-time closing peak of 17,556.49 after the German consumer sentiment index published jointly by GfK and the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions rose slightly heading into March, to -29.0 from a revised -29.6 the month before, and in line with expectations.

Nevertheless, the macroeconomic calendar was relatively light to start the week, but a barrage of closely watched US datapoints will be on tap in the coming days, including GDP, manufacturing PMIs and the all-important personal consumption expenditures inflation gauge on Thursday.

Inflation figures from Germany will also be out on Thursday, followed by price data for the wider eurozone on Friday. The two publications will "provide a fresh reminder of the impending ECB pivot in the months ahead, helping to further justify the record highs habitually posted by the DAX", said chief market analyst Joshua Mahony from Scope Markets.

HelloFresh attempts a rebound

HelloFresh was the highest riser on the Stoxx 600 index, jumping nearly 13% as shares in the Frankfurt-listed home meal kit delivery company rebounded following recent heavy losses. Even including Tuesday's gain, the stock has still fallen 9.4% since the start of the year.

Heavy falls being registered by London-listed cigarette and vape producer Imperial on the back of reports that the UK government is considering a new vaping tax at the Spring Budget next week.

Madrid's IBEX 35 was trading in the red with heavy falls from stocks in the energy and transport sectors. Compania de Distribucion Integral Logista and Ferrovial were out of favour, along with Enagas, Aena and Naturgy Energy Group.

Over in Stockholm, commercial landlord Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget (known as SBB) was lower after taking a SEK13bn ($1.3bn) writedown on its portfolio alongside its 2023 results, while sector peer Heimstaden plummeted more than 30% after taking a SEK31bn write-down and seeing its credit rating downgraded by Fitch to 'junk' status.

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