Sunday 17 November 2019

European shares jump back up as Sept. US rate rise seen less likely

Traders talk in front of the German share price index DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany
Traders talk in front of the German share price index DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany

European shares rose on Thursday, buoyed by gains on Asian and U.S. markets after a U.S. central bank official said the prospect of a September rate hike seemed "less compelling" than before.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which fell 1.9 percent on Wednesday, bounced back up by 2.4 percent, as did the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index.

Bouygues was one of the best performing stocks, rising 6.1 percent after the French conglomerate lifted the profit goal for its telecoms arm.

Persistent fears about an economic slowdown in China, which intensified after China devalued its yuan currency earlier in August, have rattled financial markets this month, causing the FTSEurofirst to slump 5.4 percent on Monday.

However, Wall Street racked up its biggest one-day gain in four years on Wednesday after New York Fed President William Dudley said the likelihood of a September rate hike "seems less compelling" than it was only weeks ago, in a sign that China's woes could affect U.S. monetary policy.

"The bounce in Wall Street and stabilisation in Asia are causing the market to rally back. My short-term indicators are telling me that we hit a bottom in the market earlier this week," said Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu.

The FTSEurofirst remains down by around 10 percent in August due to earlier slumps caused by the worries over China, and the index is at risk of its biggest monthly loss in four years.

However, some fund managers prepared to take a medium-to-long term view said economic fundamentals looked robust in Europe, with the region's financial markets supported by economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB).

According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, 58 percent of the companies on the pan-European STOXX 600 index have beaten or met expectations with their second-quarter results.

Data on Thursday also showed an unexpected rise in French industrial morale in August.

"Regional equities are attractive and well supported by the fundamentals today, notably Europe, the U.S. and Japan where earnings multiples are in an inexpensive range of 12 to 18 times currently," said Lorne Baring, managing director at asset management firm B Capital.


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