European markets edge up on thin trading volumes
Dublin and London markets closed for a public holiday
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street was higher in early evening trading on Monday, helped by a rise in financial and consumer discretionary stocks.
European shares edged up on Monday after sharp declines in the previous session, with German shares outperforming the broader market after a positive manufacturing survey.
However, Italian banks fell after the latest government measures aimed at tackling the sector’s pile of bad loans fell short of expectations. Trading volumes were thin as the UK and Irish market and other bourses in Europe were closed for a public holiday.
The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro Stoxx 50 index ended up 0.1 per cent. Germany’s Dax rose 0.8 per cent after data showed factory activity in Europe’s biggest economy rose to a three-month high in April, buoyed by rising demand at home and abroad.
Insurer Allianz led gains on Germany’s Dax after reporting a 21 per cent jump in quarterly profit. Carmakers climbed, with Fiat Chrysler rising 2.1 per cent after chairman Sergio Marchionne said he was more positive on the outlook for China.
Deutsche Bank AG lost 2.7 per cent after UK regulators were said to have faulted the lender in March for “serious” lapses in efforts to thwart money laundering.
The Stoxx 600 fell 0.1 per cent to 341.24 at the close of trading, after fluctuating between gains and losses. The volume of shares changing hands was 61 per cent below the 30-day average as UK markets were closed for a holiday.
The Dax rose 0.8 per cent, for the biggest advance among western-European
markets. The Stoxx capped its biggest weekly drop since February on Friday as a stronger euro and mixed earnings prompted investors to reassess progress.
The measure still added 1.2 per cent in April. It trades at about 15 times estimated profit, which is 17 per cent above the average multiple for the past five years.HSBC Holdings , BMW and UBS Group are among companies posting earnings this week.
Wall Street was higher in early evening trading on Monday, helped by a rise in financial and consumer discretionary stocks. The S&P 500, which has risen about 15 per cent since February, is about 3 per cent short of its all-time high, boosted by recovering oil prices and an accommodative Federal Reserve.
Investors have been keeping a sharp eye on data after the Fed held monetary policy steady last week and gave no signals that it was in a hurry to tighten further.
Wall Street closed lower on Friday, with US stocks marking their largest weekly drop in more than two months as corporate earnings continued to disappoint. However, the S&P and Dow managed to close up for April. “It’s a little bit of a reversal from the last couple of weeks where you had energy, gold, materials leading the market. Now we’re back to the safer plays,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.
Early on the Dow Jones industrial average was up 64.44 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 17,838.08, the S&P 500 was up 5.92 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 2,071.22 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.17 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 4,776.53.
Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the consumer discretionary index’s 0.69 per cent rise leading the gainers.
Amazon’s 2.3 per cent rise gave the biggest boost to the S&P and Nasdaq, while Goldman Sachs’ 1 per cent rise helped the Dow.
Baidu fell 6.5 per cent to $181.71 after Chinese regulators said they would investigate the company over the death of a university student who had used its search engine to look for treatment for his cancer.
Baker Hughes shares fell 0.5 per cent to $48.13 after the company and larger rival Halliburton scrapped a deal to merge. Halliburton rose 2.4 per cent to $42.27. Apollo Education was up 7.5 per cent at $8.39 after a group of investors raised their offer to $1.14 billion to buy the for-profit education provider.