Saturday 20 January 2018

European shares rise early; Remy sinks

European shares rose early today with a key index hitting a fresh 5-1/2 year high, tracking gains in Asia as China's central bank injected funds to cool money market rates and ease the country's latest cash squeeze.

At 0808 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2pc at 1,347.32 points.

China shares rebounded from six-month lows on Tuesday after cash rates eased following a move by the central bank to inject funds to soothe the latest cash crunch.

European spirits and luxury goods groups lost ground after France's Remy Cointreau said quarterly sales sank 19pc, with cognac sales plummeting 32pc, as a Chinese government crackdown on ostentatious spending further hit demand.

Remy was down 4.4pc to a two-year low and rival Pernod Ricard fell by 2.2pc. LVMH was down 0.5pc.

But the biggest loser among European blue-chips was Alstom , down 12pc after the power and transport engineering firm lowered its annual profit and cash flow targets on Tuesday. Alstrom blamed a slowdown in orders for coal and gas-fired power plants.


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