By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European stock markets traded firmly higher Tuesday, climbing to record levels as investors digested signs of strong global growth while the region attempts to ramp up its Covid-19 vaccination program.
At 4:25 AM ET (0925 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.9% higher, climbing to an all-time high, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.5%, at a 52-week high, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 1%, while the broad-based Stoxx 600 gained 0.6%, also reaching its record high.
Germany will have immunized 20% of its population against the novel coronavirus by the beginning of May, the country’s health minister Jens Spahn said on Monday, doubling the number of people with the jab in a month after taking three months to immunize the first 10%.
Germany, the largest country in the European Union, has been forced into a fresh lockdown, like many of its neighbors, to combat a rise in infections.
These mobility restrictions in Europe, even with easings in England and Portugal, are set to delay the region’s economic recovery, but growth signals are more positive in both the U.S. and China, the two largest economies in the world.
Overnight, data showed the recovery in China’s services sector picking up speed, prompting China’s central bank to ask the nation’s major lenders to curtail loan growth for the rest of this year amid bubble risks, Bloomberg reported.
This followed Friday’s impressive U.S. jobs report suggesting that the American economic rebound gained momentum.
In corporate news, Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) stock fell 0.1%, after heavy losses last week, as the Swiss banking giant said Tuesday it was replacing senior managers, halting its share buyback program and slashing its 2020 dividend in the wake of the Archegos and Greensill fiascos.
BP (NYSE:BP) stock rose 2.8% after the oil giant said it expects to reach its $35 billion net debt target in the first quarter of 2021, which would allow the group to restart share buybacks.
Air France KLM (OTC:AFLYY) stock fell 1.5% after the European Commission approved a French proposal to recapitalise the virus-hit airline to the tune of $4.7 billion, meaning it will be banned from paying dividends and making share buybacks until the recapitalisation is redeemed.
The luxury sector is in the spotlight after Dolce & Gabbana’s CEO denied that the Italian fashion company was in talks with French group Kering (PA:PRTP) over a possible tie-up. The possibility of mergers within the hard-hit sector remains, although the early reopening of China has lifted names like LVMH (PA:LVMH) and Christian Dior (PA:DIOR) to all-time highs in recent weeks.
Oil prices edged higher Tuesday, paring some of Monday’s hefty losses on the back of last week’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC+.
European Stocks at Record Levels on Signs of Global Growth
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