European markets, stock market data, profits; Powered in Brief

 European markets, stock market data, profits;  Powered in Brief

LONDON – European stocks rose on Tuesday morning as market attention focused on the global economic recovery and the latest US Federal Reserve meeting.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.5% at the start of trading, with autos climbing 1.9% to lead the gains while oil and gas stocks fell 0.4%.
The market is focused on the Federal Reserve, which kicks off its two-day meeting on Tuesday, followed by a statement and briefing from President Jerome Powell on Wednesday.

Soaring interest rates and a rebound in the US economy have put the central bank’s easy policies in the spotlight, and market watchers have wondered when the Fed might consider unwinding these policies.

Later this week, the Bank of England is scheduled to meet on Thursday and the Bank of Japan will also begin its two-day policy meeting that day.

Asia-Pacific markets edged higher on Tuesday, after a relatively subdued start to the global trading week as investors look to the Fed meeting. U.S. stock index futures were mixed in pre-market trading on Tuesday, after the Dow and S&P closed at record highs amid optimism about the economic reopening.

News about the coronavirus vaccine remains at the center of concerns in Europe after Germany became the last country on Monday to suspend use of the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford vaccine due to blood clot issues. The German government has also said it is suspending its use as a precaution, with the vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, calling for further investigations.

The World Health Organization, health experts and the vaccine maker have sought to downplay ongoing safety concerns, saying there is currently no evidence to suggest a link between the shot and an increased risk to develop blood clots. The European Medicines Agency is investigating.

The biggest movers

Profits on Tuesday came from VW, RWE, Zalando and Greggs on Tuesday.

Volkswagen is targeting an operating margin of 5% to 6.5% this year and 7% to 8% in the coming years, as it sees cost reductions and ambitious expansion in the electric vehicle market.

“Over the next 15 years, we will see total industry turnover. Electric cars are taking the lead and software really becomes the driving force behind the industry, ”CEO Herbert Diess told CNBC on Tuesday.

Shares of the world’s second-largest automaker gained 4.5% in early trading, while German auto battery maker Varta jumped 6.5% to lead the Stoxx 600.

Zalando and French telecommunications company Iliad both gained more than 5% after strong full-year results.

At the bottom of the blue-chip European index, German biotech firm MorphoSys plunged more than 11% after its earnings report.

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