Portfolio

Europe close: Stocks edge higher helped by strong economic data

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Tuesday 16 Apr 2019

Europe close: Stocks edge higher helped by strong economic data

(Sharecast News) - Stocks on the Continent were mostly higher as investors cheered better-than-expected economic data, amid holiday-thinned trading volumes.
And there was some underlying optimism, at least on the part of some analysts, particularly regarding the most recent economic data out of the People's Republic of China.

That prompted Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, to tell clients: "In an Easter shortened week Asia markets have got off to a decent start taking their cues from easing concerns about Chinese data, and a strong end to the week for US markets. This looks set to translate into a positive start for European stocks this morning."

Data on Chinese first quarter GDP growth, together with figures on retail sales and fixed asset investment covering the month of March were due out on Thursday.

By the close of trading, the benchmark Stoxx 600 was up by 0.29% to 389.21, alongside an advance of 0.67% to 12,101.32 for the German Dax.

In parallel, euro/dollar was drifting lower by 0.13% to 1.12896 and front month Brent crude oil futures were up by 0.78% at $71.74 per barrel on the ICE.

Nevertheless, according to the ZEW Institute the outlook for Germany over the next couple of quarters remained "greatly subdued".

The closely-followed gauge of analyst sentiment towards the euro area's largest economy, compiled by ZEW, rose by 6.7 points in April to 3.1 (consensus: 0.8).

According to ZEW, one of Germany's most prestigious economic think tanks, economic expectations had recovered "significantly" since October, but analysts' assessment of current conditions had "deteriorated considerably".

"The outlook for the German economy in the coming six months thus remains greatly subdued," ZEW said.

In other data, Eurostat reported a 3.0% increase in Eurozone construction output during February in month-on-month terms.

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