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European Stocks Close Higher Again on Recovery Optimism
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 17 - 04 - 2021

European stocks closed higher on Friday, extending recent gains, amid continued optimism about global
economic recovery thanks to fairly upbeat data from China, the US and Europe, dpa reported.
Strong results from some top name U.S. and European companies contributed as well to the positive mood in the markets.The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.9 per cent. Britain's FTSE 100 ended 0.52 per cent up, Germany's DAX gained 1.34 per cent, France's CAC 40 surged up 0.85 per cent and Switzerland's SMI ended higher by 0.57 per cent.
Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden ended with strong gains.
Greece and Poland closed weak, while Turkey and Ukraine ended flat.
Automobile stocks rallied after industry data showed Europe's new car registrations surged in March due to last year's exceptionally low base of comparison caused by the strict Covid-19 restrictions introduced in most markets in March 2020.
Registrations of new passenger cars increased 87.3 per cent annually, in contrast to February's 19.3 per cent decline.
In the UK market, Everaz, Tesco, Next, British American Tobacco, Natwest Group, BT Group, Melrose, Barclays Group and Flutter Entertainment gained 2 to 4 per cent.
Online supermarket Ocado Group shares gained nearly 2 per cent. The company announced that it has commercially partnered with Oxford -based autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica Ltd to develop a range of vehicles that will be integrated into the Ocado smart platform.
Rolls-Royce Holdings, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, ICP and Barratt Developments declined sharply.
In the French market, Valeo, ArcelorMittal, Safran, Renault, Air France-KLM, BNP Paribas and LVMH gained 2 to 4 per cent. Publicis Groupe, Veolia and Hermes International also ended notably higher. In Germany, Siemens moved up more than 4 per cent. Daimler rallied 2.5 per cent after its preliminary results for the first-quarter of 2021 came in significantly above market expectations, driven by higher vehicle prices and strong demand for its Mercedes-Benz cars, particularly in China.
Covestro, Continental, Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank, Bayer and BASF gained 2 to 3 per cent. HeidelbergCement shares rose sharply after the company said that its preliminary results for the first quarter of 2021 were significantly above market expectations.
Dutch bank ING gained notable ground in positive territory after announcing its plan to separate the Management Board Banking roles for technology and operations.
In economic releases, Eurozone consumer prices increased as initially estimated in March, final data from Eurostat showed. Inflation accelerated to 1.3 per cent in March from 0.9 per cent in February.
This was the third consecutive rise in prices and matched flash estimate released on March 31.
The euro area trade surplus declined in February as exports decreased amid rising imports, Eurostat reported. The trade surplus rose to a seasonally adjusted 18.4 billion euros in February from 28.7 billion euros in January. Exports decreased 2.5 per cent month-on-month, while imports were up 3.4 per cent in February.
Switzerland's producer and import prices declined in March, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed. Producer and import prices fell 0.2 per cent year-on-year in March. The producer price index declined 0.4 per cent annually in March and import prices increased 0.1 per cent.


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