Europe midday: Stocks mostly higher on China optimism

by | Jul 31, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Stocks had moved into the green on the back of fresh policy announcements in China and thanks to data showing that the single currency bloc returned to growth in the second quarter.
As of 1246 BST, the pan-European Stoxx 600 was edging up by 0.16% to 471.51.

Germany’s Dax was up by 0.11% to 16,487.80 and Italy’s FTSE Mib was adding 0.53% to 7,515.94.

Overnight, China’s National Development and Reform Commission published a policy document that included multiple measures designed to bolster consumption, many of which had already been announced.

Separately, it was reported that authorities in Beijing and Shenzhen might ease curbs on the property sector.

Back in Europe, Destatis reported that German retail sales dropped at a month-on-month pace of 0.8% in June (consensus: 0.2%).

But prior months’ data were revised up by a combined 1.5 percentage points.

Eurostat reported that euro area gross domestic product expanded at a quarter-on-quarter pace of 0.3% over the three months to June (consensus: 0.2%).

As well, European Central Bank chief, Christine Lagarde, told Le Figaro that the monetary authority could raise interest rates rise at its September meeting or keep them at their current level.

“A pause, whenever it occurs, in September or later, would not necessarily be definitive,” she added.

Heineken shares dropped 6% after the brewer reduced its earnings forecast due to the weaker consumption.

That followed a 22% drop in operating profits for the first half of the year.

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