FRANKFURT, Nov 2 ― European shares clocked their best day in over a week yesterday, as upbeat jobs data from the United States and a surprise bounce in Chinese manufacturing tempered nerves around slowing global growth.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.7 per cent higher, while German shares, heavily export-oriented, were also up 0.7 per cent.
US job growth slowed less than expected in October, while a private business survey indicated that China’s factory activity unexpectedly expanded at the fastest pace in more than two years last month.
The latest data out of China is in contrast to an official survey published on Thursday, which had factory activity shrinking for the sixth straight month in October.
“It’s like icing on the cake with those stronger-than-expected numbers in the wake of an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve,” said Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index.
The US Federal Reserve lowered borrowing costs for the third time this year on Wednesday, although it signalled there would be no further reductions unless the US economy took a turn for the worse.
Adding to the bounce were comments from White House adviser Larry Kudlow who said trade talks with China were making progress and the United States still aimed to sign an initial deal this month, although the phase one agreement remained unfinished and some issues would be pushed to a second pact.
“The official position so far from both sides remains rather optimistic and that’s being confirmed by the latest comments from Kudlow,” said Odeluga.
Mining stocks led gains among sub-sectors with a 3.2 per cent jump following strong factory activity data from China, the world’s top metals consumer.
After a volatile week packed with corporate news and conflicting tones on the trade front, the benchmark index registered its fourth straight weekly gain with a 0.4 per cent rise.
Danish stocks outperformed their European peers with a 2.5 per cent jump, boosted by transport and logistics services company DSV Panalpina, which gained 7.4 per cent after reporting strong third-quarter results.
Drugmaker Novo Nordisk rose 3.6 per cent after raising its sales outlook for 2019 on the back of its new drugs for type II diabetes and obesity.
Among disappointing earnings, Denmark’s biggest lender Danske Bank slid 4 per cent after narrowing its annual profit outlook as it grapples to restore trust after being involved in one of the world’s biggest money laundering scandals.
Bank stocks snapped a three-week run of gains also hit by sour results from Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. ― Reuters