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European stocks clock fresh record highs; miners slide

Oil stocks power Europe's STOXX 600 to record highs
Oil stocks power Europe's STOXX 600 to record highs   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

By Anisha Sircar and Shreyashi Sanyal

-European shares hit another record peak on Monday after comments from European Central Bank Chief Christine Lagarde helped beat back bets of tighter monetary policy, while a fall in miners kept gains at bay.

ECB President Lagarde said the current inflation spike will be longer than once anticipated but would fade next year, so policy action now would hit the economy just as price growth starts to moderate on its own.

The continent-wide STOXX 600 index rose 0.4%, while Germany’s DAX index gained 0.3%, as both gauges hit a new record highs.

“Comments from ECB governor Lagarde highlighted the ongoing dovishness in the face of inflationary pressures, with their first rate hike still slated for 2023,” Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG, said.

France’s blue-chip CAC 40 also hit an all-time high, rising 0.5% on a lift from Airbus. The European planemaker received a multi-billion-dollar order for 255 single-aisle A321neo passenger jets from private-equity firm Indigo Partners’ portfolio airlines.

The STOXX 600 has hit a series of record highs this month as strong corporate earnings and dovish central bank policy decisions lifted investor confidence, helping take the focus off a COVID-19 resurgence in the region.

Meanwhile, the European basic resources index slipped 1.1% as metal prices tumbled on China’s pledge to “phase down” coal at the COP26 summit. [MET/L]

Data earlier in the day showed retail sales and industrial output growth last month in the world’s second-largest economy beat expectations, fuelling global investor optimism. [MKTS/GLOB]

The Austrian government on Sunday became the first European country to reinstate a fresh lockdown, placing millions of unvaccinated people under restrictions amid record-level infection rates.

“Across Europe, there has been further worry with rising COVID-19 cases, that restrictions could come back into place even as soon as the Christmas holidays,” said Oliver Males, sales trader at Spreadex .

Among other stocks, Royal Dutch Shell added 2.1% after saying it would simplify its business and move its head office to Britain from the Netherlands.

Spanish Bank BBVA was the biggest drag on Spain’s blue-chip IBEX, losing 4.3% on its offer to buy the rest of Garanti BBVA for up to 2.25 billion euros ($2.6 billion).

Shares of Philips, which is recalling ventilators due to use of parts containing a potentially hazardous foam, slid 10.6% after the company announced it was in talks with U.S. regulators following a new inspection of one of its facilities.