EUROPE MARKETS: DAX Leads European Stocks To Higher Close, Powered By Utilities Deal

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03/12/2018 | 07:31 pm


By Carla Mozee and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch



Stoxx Europe 600 rises for 6th straight day



European stocks notched a sixth consecutive win Monday, closing higher along with other global markets after the U.S. jobs report highlighted the health of the world's largest economy.



European markets also got a boost from German utility stocks after a complex deal within the industry was reached over the weekend.



How markets are moving



The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.3% to end at 379.20. On Friday, the pan-European index closed 0.4% higher, and that allowed the benchmark to end last week up by 3.1%.



Germany's DAX 30 index surged 0.6% to finish at 12,418.39, while France's CAC 40 index was up less than 0.1% to close at 5,276.71.



Bucking the positive trend, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1% to end at 7,214.76.



The euro bought $1.2317, up from $1.2307 late Friday in New York.



What is driving the market



European stocks built on Friday's advance, when global stock markets rose after the February nonfarm-payrolls report from the U.S.



The report showed the world's largest economy added more jobs than expected , but wage growth fell shorts of forecasts. That signaled a healthy U.S. economy but eased fears that wages would add to inflationary pressures.



Asian stock markets finished higher Monday, while U.S. stocks were mixed about midway through their session.



But mining stocks in Europe struggled after U.S. President Donald Trump's order last week to impose protectionist tariffs of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum. European Union officials were still working on landing an exemption from the levies. Mexico, Canada and Australia have been exempted.



What strategists are saying



"Global markets continue to advance after Friday's U.S. employment numbers effectively gave the green light to investors to buy equities," said Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, in a note.



"Confirmation that there is a resurgence in the number of Americans joining the labor force, increasing the participation rate, is a huge boost to U.S. production prospects and growth without the downside risk of wage inflation. Not too hot, not too cold; Goldilocks appears to be alive and well," she said.



Stocks in focus



Renewable energy Innogy SE rallied 12% after E. ON SE said Sunday it has agreed in principle to acquire RWE AG's 76.8% stake in Innogy . The move would leave E. ON focused on energy networks and consumer-related operations. RWE leapt 9.2%, and E. ON (>> company sheet) moved up 5.4%.



GKN shares fell 2.5%, giving up an earlier gain that came after Melrose Industries lifted its purchase offer to 8.1 billion pounds ($11.2 billion), but said it won't raise the amount again "under any circumstances." GKN, which has spurned Melrose's previous bids, said Friday it's merging its driveline business with Dana Inc. in a deal worth $6.1 billion.



Just Eat PLC shares dropped 0.9% after Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating of the food-delivery company to sell from hold.



Check out:Why Just Eat's stock needs to digest its gains



Among metals producers, ArcelorMittal SA declined 0.7%, and steel tubes maker Tenaris fell 1.5%. Iron ore producer Rio Tinto PLC shed 0.4%, while Glencore PLC lost 0.2%.





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