European Stocks Close Modestly Higher
(RTTNews) – European stocks closed higher on Thursday, rebounding from losses in the previous session, despite largely negative cues from global markets.
Data showing an increase in the euro area trade surplus in the month of July on higher shipments contributed to the positive sentiment in European markets.
Among other markets in Europe, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden closed higher.
Austria, Portugal, Russia and Turkey drifted lower, while Finland, Norway and Poland ended flat.
Regional automakers were under some pressure as industry data showed Europe’s passenger car registrations declined in August and July after four months of accelerated growth.
In the UK market, Ashtead Group climbed 5.3% after lifting its outlook for full-year performance.
IAG, Flutter Entertainment, Rolls-Royce Holdings, Intermediate Capital Group, Compass Group, Whitbread, Informa, Smith & Nephew, Smurfit Kappa Group, Kingfisher, Entain and Associated British Foods gained 2 to 4%.
Ryanair Holdings rallied sharply after the discount airline raised its traffic forecast over the next five years. EasyJet gained more than 7%.
Rio Tinto shed more than 4% as the mining giant issued a statement on penalty assessment by the Australian Taxation Office in connection with an isolated borrowing used to pay an intragroup dividend in 2015.
Anglo Amercian Plc, Fresnillo, BHP Group, Antofagasta, Glencore and Ocado Group lost 2 to 4.6%.
In the French market, Schneider Electric, Dassault Systemes, Capgemini and Safran gained 2 to 2.6%. Airbus Group, Air France-KLM, Legrand, Unibail Rodamco, Accor, Atos and Essilor also closed notably higher.
Lagardere shares soared 20% Paris after Vivendi reached an agreement to buy activist investor Amber Capital’s 17.9% stake in the French media and retail group.
Faurecia shares ended more than 3% down. Valeo shed about 2.4%. Renault, Carrefour, LOreal, Technip and ArcelorMittal lost 1 to 1.9%.
In Germany, Siemens surged up 2.3%. Henkel, Deutsche Post, Linde, Puma, Lufthansa, Covestro and Deutsche Bank gained 1 to 1.8%.
Continental tumbled more than 5.5%. Thyssenkrupp declined 2.3%, while HeidelbergCement, Volkswagen, Infineon Technologies and BMW lost 1 to 1.7%.
According to the first estimate from Eurostat, the trade surplus increased to a seasonally adjusted EUR 13.4 billion from EUR 11.9 billion in June. Exports increased 1% month-on-month, while imports grew only 0.3%.
On an unadjusted basis, exports of goods registered an annual growth of 11.4% and imports posted 17.1% expansion.
Europe’s passenger car registrations declined in August and July after four months of accelerated growth, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, revealed on Thursday.
Passenger car sales decreased 19.1% year-on-year in August following a decline of 23.2% in July. Sales totaled 622,993 units in August.
For the second month in a row, the largest car markets posted double-digit declines.
Investors also digested the latest batch of economic data from the U.S. The Commerce Department said retail sales climbed by 0.7% in August after plunging by a revised 1.8% in July. Economists had expected retail sales to decrease by 0.8%.
Another report from the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rebounded by slightly more than expected in the week ended September 11th.
The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 332,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 312,000.
Economists had expected initial jobless claims to rise to 328,000 from the 310,000 originally reported for the previous week.
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