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Retail stocks power European shares for fifth day

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By Reuters
Retail stocks power European shares for fifth day
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Staff   -   Copyright  STAFF(Reuters)

(Reuters) – European shares rose on Tuesday as Zalando’s upbeat results boosted the retail sector and data out of China added to hopes of stabilization in the world’s second-largest economy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.3 percent by 0735 GMT, up for the fifth day with most bourses in the region higher and Germany’s DAX leading gains.

Zalando jumped more than 10 percent, making it the top performer on the STOXX and DAX, after the e-commerce company said it expected to post an operating profit for the first quarter.

Steel pipe maker Tenaris also led gains on the pan-region index after an Argentine court reversed a decision against the company’s chief executive and chairman. Italy’s top bank, UniCredit SpA, gained after the lender and two subsidiaries agreed to pay $1.3 billion to U.S. authorities to settle probes of violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran and other countries.

Security company G4S rose 1 percent after it reported a 4.8 percent rise in first-quarter revenue and said it had made good progress in a review to separate its cash business.

Italian utility Ascopiave rose after A2A and other utilities made a joint non-binding bid for its assets. At the other end of the index, Lufthansa dropped 2 percent after Germany’s biggest airline posted a loss in the first-quarter hurt by rising fuel costs and overcapacity in Europe.

Both Ryanair Holdings and Air France KLM SA lost more than 1 percent each.

Hays Plc tumbled 6.2 percent as the British recruitment firm’s organic growth slowed in Australia and Germany in third quarter.

Oil stocks including BP, Total and Royal Dutch Shell were the biggest weights on the STOXX 600, tracking declining crude prices. [O/R]

Investors breathed a sigh of relief last week after central banks in the United States and Europe maintained their dovish stance and Britain lawmakers got an extension on their country’s exit from the European Union.

Signs that Sino-China trade talks are in their final stages have aided the recent buoyant mood. Closer to home, the European Trade Commissioner said late Monday that the European Union is ready to start talks on a trade agreement with the United States and aims to conclude a deal before the end of the year.

The index of STOXX 50 volatility, the main gauge of market anxiety in Europe, has fallen in the past five sessions to its lowest in nearly nine months.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens)