European Stocks Close Broadly Higher

Despite staying somewhat sluggish for much of the day's trading session, European stocks closed broadly higher on Monday with investors weighing global economic outlook amid easing concerns about interest rates following recent inflation data from several countries.

Optimism about economic recovery in China helped as well. Investors awaited a slew of earnings updates from U.S. and European companies this week for directional clues.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.52%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.18%, Germany's DAX ended higher by 0.46% and France's CAC 40 ended 0.52% up, while Switzerland's SMI surged 0.98%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Sweden ended with sharp to moderate gains.

Denmark and Spain posted marginal gains, Turkiye ended sharply lower, while Iceland closed flat.

In the UK market, Ocado Group rallied nearly 4%. Associated British Foods, RS Group, Antofagasta, Scottish Mortgage, F&C Investment Trust, Persimmon, Rolls-Royce Holdings and Smith (DS) gained 1.5 to 2.3%.

Fresnillo tumbled nearly 5%. Endeavour Mining and St. Jame's Place ended lower by 2.6% and 2.1%, respectively. Informa, AstraZeneca, Croda International, Hiscox and Severn Trent drifted down 1 to 1.5%.

In Paris, Unibail Rodamco climbed 4.75%. Alstom, StMicroElectronics and Renault gained 2.5 to 3%. Michelin, Pernod Ricard, Capgemini, Schneider Electric, Safran, Saint Gobain, Kering, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Hermes International gained 1 to 2%.

In the German market, Sartorius climbed 3.75%. Merck, Vonovia, Infineon Technologies, Continental, Mercedes-Benz, Puma, Siemens Healthineers, BMW, Adidas, Daimler, Siemens, Siemens Energy, Porsche and Covestro ended higher by 1 to 3%.

Shares of public transport provider National Express Group gained 4.2%. The company said that its unit National Express Rail GmbH has won a 1 billion euros worth contract for rail operations in Germany.

Symrise plunged more than 6%. Munich RE, Hannover Rueck and Deutsche Boerse ended lower by 1 to 1.6%.

In economic news, consumer confidence in the eurozone continued to recover at the start of the year, reaching its highest level in nearly a year, according to preliminary figures released by the European Commission on Monday.

The flash consumer confidence index rose 1.1 points to -20.9 in January. Economists had forecast a score of -20.0. This was the highest reading since February 2022, when the score was -9.7.

The corresponding reading for the EU rose 1.4 points to -22.4.

The German economy is likely to have roughly stagnated in the final quarter of 2022, Bundesbank said in its monthly report, released Monday.

High inflation and uncertainty after the Ukraine war weighed on the economy. Nonetheless, the situation on the energy markets eased noticeably compared to the summer, the central bank said.

Moreover, the bank observed that fiscal measures relieved private households and companies from high energy prices. In addition, supply bottlenecks in industry and construction eased.

Meanwhile, the economic forecasting group EY ITEM Club has cautioned that the UK economy is set for a deeper recession than previously projected due to high inflation, falling real incomes, rising interest rates and tight fiscal policy.

The economy is expected to shrink 0.7% this year, worse than the 0.3% contraction forecast in October, the group said in its Winter Forecast.

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