European markets: follow global sentiment

European markets: follow global sentiment

European stocks rose on Friday, following rising global sentiment as investors focus on the outlook for growth and inflation amid progress in Covid-19 vaccine deployments.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 gained 0.9% at the start of trade, with core resources adding 2.3% to lead gains as all sectors and major exchanges entered positive territory.
European markets received a positive transfer from Asia-Pacific, where stocks rose broadly in Friday’s trading, led by mainland China and Japan.

Futures linked to major US indices also point to a higher open on the US side on Friday, after Wall Street broke its recent losing streak in the previous session on the back of a rally in cyclical zones. of the market. Banks led the gains after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said lenders could resume buybacks and raise dividends from the end of June.

The focus is also on oil prices, which rebounded overnight amid fears that a huge container ship blocking the Suez Canal could take weeks to free up, reducing global supply. Brent crude was changing hands at a fraction of less than $ 63 a barrel Friday morning in Europe.
Back in Europe, EU leaders on Thursday expressed grievances over a shortage of contract deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine as the continent faces a third wave of infections.

In business news, German insurance giant Allianz is set to close a 2.5 billion euros ($ 2.94 billion) deal for the Polish unit of Aviva, reported Thursday Reuters citing sources familiar with the matter.

On the data front, UK retail sales figures for February are due on Friday morning and the German institute Ifo publishes its business climate index for March.

In terms of individual stock price movement, UK engineering firm Smiths Group jumped 5% to lead the Stoxx 600 in early trading, after beating first-half profit guidance and forecasting further improvement in the second half of the year.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Finnish pharmaceutical company Orion fell 3% after its AGM on Thursday.

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