European stock markets traded higher Friday, helped by gains in the airlines sector on hopes Covid-19 restrictions may be ending, although concerns surrounding China, one of the world’s main growth drivers, remain.
At 3:35 AM ET (0735 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.6% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.9% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.3%.
British policymakers are set to consider easing England’s covid 19 rules for international travel Friday, allowing those who are fully vaccinated more freedom.
The travel industry, hard hit by the pandemic, has been calling for such a move for some time, and airline stocks have responded positively. IAG, the owner of British Airways, stock rose 3.8%, Air France KLM stock rose 1.6% and budget airline Ryanair stock climbed 1.8%.
Elsewhere, Renault stock rose 0.4% after the French auto giant announced late Thursday that it would cut up to 2,000 engineering and support jobs in France as it shifts into electric cars and hires in different positions.
Staying with corporate news, S4 Capital stock rose 0.5% after Martin Sorrell’s advertising agency agreed to acquire tech services group Zemoga, while Commerzbank stock rose 4.2% following a report that U.S. private equity firm Cerberus is considering raising its stake in the German lender.
Elsewhere, U.K. retail sales surprisingly fell 0.9% on the month in August, a far weaker result than the gain of 0.5% expected, with consumers spending less at food stores and more on hospitality, services and motor fuel as the economy reopened.
Chinese data earlier this week suggested growth in the world’s second-largest economy will slow in the second half of this year, and this is occurring while Beijing increases its regulatory supervision on a variety of different sectors, also potentially weighing on growth.
The FTSE MIB climbed up by 0.55% to 26,107.00. In the cash markets, the DAX Germany was trading up 0.50% to 15,728.65. CAC 40 in France rose by 0.90% to 6,681.22 while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. were up by 0.33% to 7,051.35. ,at the time of writing.