Europe Stocks Post Best Weekly Gain Since November on Earnings
(Bloomberg) -- European stocks were steady, capping their best weekly gain since November, as investors assessed positive earnings updates and weaker-than-expected U.S. payrolls.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed at the close, after rising as much as 0.5% and sliding 0.3% intraday. French construction giant Vinci SA advanced after its operating profit beat expectations. Banks also outperformed, with BNP Paribas SA up 2.6% after analysts praised its earnings outlook.
Stocks in Europe are up 3.5% this week, rebounding from last week’s slump, as easing concerns of retail-trading volatility made way for optimism about earnings and further U.S. stimulus. The case for the latter was bolstered as payrolls came in worse than expected.
Fourth-quarter “results are beating expectations, confirming earnings recovery is on track,” Barclays Plc strategists led by Emmanuel Cau wrote. “Meanwhile, there is growing evidence inflation is coming back, which matters for asset allocation and style leadership.”
Of the Stoxx 600 companies that have reported so far, 70% beat estimates for earnings per share, according to strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Sector-wise, commodity-related shares have been a “considerable drag” on overall growth, while staples and technology shares did better, they wrote in a note.
Friday’s top-performing stock was insurer Beazley Plc, gaining 15% after posting a narrower full-year pretax loss than analysts had feared. Finnish refiner Neste Oyj trailed the pack, falling 6.4% after cutting its dividend. Pharmaceutical company Sanofi advanced 1.2% after posting better-than-estimated earnings and projected 2021 profit growth similar to last year’s.
- You want more news on this market? Click here for a curated First Word channel of actionable news from Bloomberg and select sources. It can be customized to your preferences by clicking into Actions on the toolbar or hitting the HELP key for assistance.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.