Europe close: Stocks at fresh highs as Eurozone exits recession, US CPI pleases

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Wednesday 15 May 2024

Europe close: Stocks at fresh highs as Eurozone exits recession, US CPI pleases

(Sharecast News) - European shares pushed through to fresh record highs on Wednesday as the eurozone exited recession and US consumer prices dipped in year-on-year terms in April, as expected.
"Today's US inflation data has lit a fire under equities once again, coming in below expectations for the monthly figure," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

"[...] Combined with Powell's reiteration yesterday that the bar to rate hikes remains very high, it looks like stocks have a clear path to make another run at record highs."

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.59% to 524.71 while the German Dax ended the day 0.82% higher to 18,869.36 and Spain's Ibex 35 gained 1.1% to 11,362.80.

The euro and yields on benchmark 10-year German Bunds both climbed alongside.

Eurozone economic growth ticked higher in the first quarter of 2024, official data showed on Wednesday.

According to flash estimates from Eurostat, the official statistics office of the European Union, seasonally-adjusted GDP increased by 0.3% in both the Eurozone and wider bloc.

That compares to a 0.1% decline in the previous quarter in the eurozone. Year-on-year, GDP rose by 0.4% in both regions.

Among individual countries, Germany saw GDP tick up by 0.2%, Spain by 0.7%, France by 0.2% and Italy by 0.3% quarter-on-quarter.

Separately, Eurostat announced that year-on-year industrial production was down 1.0% in both blocs, less than the 1.2% expected.

Significantly nevertheless, the biggest increase in industrial production was in capital goods, up 1%.

In equity news, drinks company Britvic surged 11% after posting a jump in interim profit and revenue and announced a £75m share buyback, as it highlighted "strong" customer demand for its brands.

Shares in credit-checking and data giant Experian jumps 8% on Wednesday after the company delivered annual results at the top end of expectations and guided to an acceleration in top-line growth for the coming year.

Merck rose 5% after better-than-expected adjusted earnings.

Finland's Neste slumped 15% to the bottom of the Stoxx after the biofuels producer and oil refiner lowered its 2024 margin outlook for renewable products.

Germany's Thyssenkrupp recovered from sharp early selling after cutting its annual forecasts for sales and net profit for the second time in three months.


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