European Stocks

European Stocks Higher; Rising French Confidence Helps

European stock markets pushed higher Tuesday, helped by growing French consumer confidence while fears of a broader fallout from the U.S. hedge fund default eased.

At 3:45 AM ET (0845 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.7% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.8%, while the U.K.’s FTSE  index climbed 0.7%.

French consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in March, with the INSEE stats agency saying its monthly consumer sentiment index rose to its highest level since December to reach 94 points from 91 in February.

This comes despite new coronavirus restrictions on large parts of the country and the prospect of more curbs on the way, after Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said “all options are on the table” to protect the public from rising numbers of infections in a third wave of the Covid-19 virus.

The news is more positive in the U.K., where the vaccination program has been more successful, as a stay-at-home order and some other lockdown measures have been lifted in England. Prime Minister Boris Johnson still urged the population to be cautious, having warned last week that Europe’s wave was likely to “wash up on our shores” sooner or later.

The European market was also helped by a positive handover from Wall Street, with the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closing Monday at a new record high.

Banks tied to the Archegos saga fell, dragging broader financials indices into the red, but losses were limited and eased fears that the issue would become systemic.

Back in Europe, Credit Suisse stock rose 1% Tuesday, rebounding from Monday’s sharp losses after it announced a “significant” hit from Archegos’ default of margin calls.

AstraZeneca stock fell 0.7% after Canada suspended its Covid vaccine for adults aged 55 and under as concerns it may be linked to blood clots reared their head again.

Food-delivery company Deliveroo is likely to price shares in its initial public offering at 390p each, the bottom of the range at which they were marketed, according to Bloomberg, with books closing later Tuesday.

The pan-European Stoxx 50 climbed up by 0.53% to 3,903.84. In the cash markets, the DAX futures Germany was trading up 0.71%  to 14,922.52. CAC 40 futures in France rose by 0.60% to 6050.79 while the FTSE 100 futures in the U.K. rose by 0.43% to 6,764.68 ,at the time of writing.

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