European stocks rebounded on strong corporate results and takeover speculation
Archival image of a screen showing a close up trading chart of the German DAX price index on the German Stock Exchange (Deutsche Börse) in Frankfurt, Germany. February 12, 2019. (Reuters) / Kai Pfaffenbach

By Srothy Shankar and Susan Matthew

(Reuters) – European stocks rose on Wednesday after their worst session the day before, as optimism about a strong earnings season offset fears of a rapid rise in coronavirus cases in some countries.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7 per cent after its seven-week rise that hit profit-taking on Tuesday, when it fell 1.9 per cent.

* Health stocks provided the biggest boost to the STOXX 600 index. Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche rose 3% after expecting an increase in demand for its drugs during the remainder of 2021.

Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML gained 4.1% to support technology stocks after increasing its full-year sales forecast, citing strong demand amid a global shortage of computer chips. Smaller competitor ASM International shares rose 1.2%, estimating a rise in second-quarter orders.

* European corporate profits are expected to rise by a record 61% in the first quarter of 2021, according to data from Refinitiv IBES, putting Europe on the right track to achieve a rare outperformance against US companies.

* German fashion house Hugo Boss jumped 6.7% to a one-year high, as dealers cited a media report on the company’s interest in the acquisition, including French luxury goods company LVMH.

* The world’s second-largest brewery, Heineken NV, and French luxury goods group Kering were among other stocks that rose after positive results.

* Among the setbacks, Italian club Juventus collapsed by 13.7% after the team’s president and one of the founders of the Europa League, Andrea Agnelli, said the league could no longer move forward after six English clubs withdrew.

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(Report by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru, edited in Spanish by Manuel Farias)

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