European stocks touch new highs despite weak German industrial output

Flat mood prevails on Wall Street as investors await inflation data

European stocks hit new highs on Tuesday, lifted by travel and real-estate shares, but gains were capped by the publication of weak German industrial output data.

Doubts over whether the UK government will lift Covid-19 restrictions later this month as planned also arose, keeping sentiment in check.


The Iseq climbed 0.55 per cent, adding to its modest gains in the bank-holiday session. CRH, the largest stock on the Dublin market, nudged up about 0.2 per cent, with the cement-maker closing at a price of €43.62.

Ryanair posted a 0.7 per cent rise, finishing at €16.58, while packaging company Smurfit Kappa added 1.35 per cent to close at €44.18. Flutter Entertainment, the owner of Paddy Power, added 4.2 per cent on relatively low trading volume, with the stock ending the session at €159.90. Flutter also gained 4.2 per cent on its London listing.


It was a weak day for the banks, however, with Bank of Ireland declining 3.9 per cent to €5.14 and AIB sliding 2.5 per cent to €2.63.


The FTSE 100 added 0.3 per cent, helped by gains for mining and travel stocks, while the domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index dipped 0.1 per cent, dragged by weakness in technology and industrial stocks.

Miners including Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Glencore and BHP rose between 0.1 per cent and 1 per cent. Intermediate Capital Group climbed 5.9 per cent to a record high, after the alternative asset manager posted a 19 per cent jump in its annual third-party assets under management.

British American Tobacco added 0.4 per cent after it raised its annual revenue growth forecast to more than 5 per cent at constant currency. Aviva gained 2.7 per cent after activist investor Cevian Capital took a 4.95 per cent stake in the British insurer.

Low-cost airline EasyJet edged up 0.4 per cent after analysts at Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to "buy".


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.1 per cent higher after notching a record high earlier in the session, with sectors considered more stable such as real estate and telecoms leading gains. The travel and leisure index rose 1.8 per cent.

Positive performances for the FTSE 100 in London and the Cac 40 in France were offset by slips for German, Spanish and Italian stocks.

In Frankfurt, the Dax fell 0.2 per cent after data showed industrial output fell unexpectedly in April, in a further sign that semiconductor shortages and other supply bottlenecks are hampering the recovery in Europe’s largest economy.

This put pressure on carmakers such as Volkswagen and Daimler, which dropped 3.25 per cent and 1 per cent respectively, while Heidelberg Cement was 1.1 per cent lower.

Swiss contract drugmaker Lonza gained 2.3 per cent after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to "buy", while German airline Lufthansa fell 2.1 per cent after the brokerage downgraded the stock to "sell".


Wall Street indexes were flat in early trading on Tuesday as investors took to the sidelines ahead of key inflation data this week, while Clover Health led a rally among stocks popular on social-media platforms.

Shares of the health insurer surged more than 50 per cent as it became the new centre of attention on social-media platforms for individual traders, who have taken to hyping up stocks with large short positions in what they have dubbed “the mother of all short squeezes”.

Shares of Apple rose 0.7 per cent after sources told Reuters the iPhone maker was in early-stage talks with China's CATL and BYD about the supply of batteries for its planned electric vehicle.

Amazon rose 1.6 per cent and was the top boost to the Nasdaq as it began outlining prescription plans through its online pharmacy. – Additional reporting: Reuters