European stocks end higher as miners scale 10-year peaks

German stocks lagged their peers, rising only 0.1 per cent, after the Ifo Institute's survey showed German business morale improved by less than expected in April amid a third wave of Covid-19 infections. — Reuters pic
German stocks lagged their peers, rising only 0.1 per cent, after the Ifo Institute's survey showed German business morale improved by less than expected in April amid a third wave of Covid-19 infections. — Reuters pic

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FRANKFURT, April 27 ― European stocks ended higher yesterday as strong metals prices boosted miners, while a rise in bond yields supported shares of major banks amid optimism the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic had passed.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.3 per cent higher after its first weekly loss in eight last week. Basic resources stocks were among the best performers for the day, rising 1.9 per cent to a 10-year closing high.

The sector was supported by Shanghai copper prices hitting 10-year highs, with prices of other metals also rising as vaccination programmes across major industrial hubs pointed to a recovery in demand.

Bank stocks were the top performers, rising 2 per cent as major lenders were supported by rising euro zone bond yields.

Travel and leisure stocks rose 1.8 per cent to a record closing high after a top European Union official said Americans who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 should be able to travel to Europe by summer.

“With Italy lifting many restrictions yesterday, France planning to ease measures next month, the jab rate trending up, and the PMIs pointing to persistently robust activity, we remain confident about a consumption-driven rebound starting in Q2,” analysts at Morgan Stanley said.

However, German stocks lagged their peers, rising only 0.1 per cent, after the Ifo Institute's survey showed German business morale improved by less than expected in April amid a third wave of Covid-19 infections.

While earnings from mega-cap US technology companies such as Apple could set the tone on Wall Street this week, Europe will see a barrage of earnings reports from UK banks, oil majors and healthcare companies.

Of the 15 per cent of STOXX 600 companies that have reported so far, 66 per cent topped earnings estimates, according to Refinitiv IBES data. In a typical quarter, 51 per cent beat earnings estimates.

British engineering firm IMI Plc topped the STOXX 600, rising more than 11 per cent after it hiked its 2021 profit guidance.

Austrian sensor maker AMS fell 0.7 per cent after Credit Suisse double downgraded its stock to “underperform”, citing concerns around the company potentially losing product supply deals at Apple.

Volkswagen AG slipped 2.1 per cent after the Financial Times reported the company had warned managers to prepare for a bigger production hit in the second quarter due to a global chip shortage. ― Reuters

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