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European shares bag longest winning streak since June

European shares at record high ahead of U.S. inflation gauge
European shares at record high ahead of U.S. inflation gauge   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

By Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal

– European shares hit record highs, clocking their longest winning streak in two months on Wednesday on optimism about an upbeat earnings season, while a slowing increase in U.S. inflation calmed nerves around monetary policy tapering.

The STOXX 600 index rose 0.4% to hit an all-time high for an eighth consecutive session, with gains led by retailers, banks and real estate stocks. Germany’s DAX and the UK’s midcap FTSE 250 indexes also scaled new peaks.

Global shares also hit a record high following in step with the S&P 500 index after data showed U.S. consumer price rises slowed in July, allaying fears that the Federal Reserve will imminently signal a scaling back of bond purchases. [MKTS/GLOB]

“It’s good news. It helps keep the Fed on the couch. It is rising but at a slower rate,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital Management in Chicago.

“Obviously it is one data point but this is the first series that at least has a glimpse of the Delta variant.”

European equities have eked out record highs recently, shrugging off worries about tighter monetary policy and a surge in the Delta variant of the coronavirus, particularly in Asia and the United States.

In earnings, Dutch bank ABN Amro gained 8.6% to the top of the STOXX 600, after it said it would resume dividend payments as an economic recovery helped a stronger-than-expected bounce in net profit.

Analysts are predicting a record 148.1% jump in second-quarter profit for companies listed on the STOXX 600, as per Refintiv IBES data, versus a 104.3% rise forecast at the start of the earnings season.

UK cybersecurity company Avast climbed 3.1% after U.S. rival NortonLifeLock Inc agreed to buy the company for up to $8.6 billion.

The world’s largest maker of wind turbines, Vestas Wind Systems, slipped 2.1% as it cut its 2021 outlook after missing second-quarter operating profit forecasts on supply chain disruptions and higher costs.

German submarines-to-car parts group Thyssenkrupp slid 5.4% after it cut its full-year free cash flow outlook.

British food delivery company Deliveroo’s value of orders doubled on its platform in the first half of the year, but its shares fell 6%, with a trader citing signs of slowing growth in Europe and “conservative” guidance.

(Graphic: European sectors trading at all-time highs,