Thursday 21 September 2017

European shares edge higher, Vivendi leads

Asian stock markets rose after the Dow Jones industrial average hit another all-time high
Asian stock markets rose after the Dow Jones industrial average hit another all-time high

European stocks edged higher today, building on the previous session's strong gains on expectations of continued U.S. Federal Reserve stimulus and cheered by some solid corporate reports.

Among the top gainers, Vivendi rose 2.5pc after beating quarterly profit forecasts and saying it was progressing with its plan to hive off its largest business, France's No. 2 telecom operator SFR.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.3pc at 1,297.53 points this morning after posting its biggest one-day gain in over a month on Thursday, when the designated head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, robustly defended the central bank's bold steps to spur economic growth.

The comments from Yellen, who would take over at the end of January if her nomination is confirmed, boosted expectations that the central bank will hold off past the turn of the year with any move to rein in economic stimulus.

"The Yellen-inspired risk-on theme looks likely to prevail," said Ioan Smith, strategist at Knight Capital Group.

"One thing we should also be mindful of, though, is that a lot of people will start closing books into year end at the end of this month. If you've got decent outperformance no point chasing here for some small gains so momentum may start to wane as we get closer to Nov. 30."

 

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