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European Stocks Higher; Pernod Ricard Expects "Dynamic" Quarter

Stock MarketsSep 01, 2021 09:44
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By Peter Nurse - European stock markets pushed higher Wednesday, climbing to near record levels, helped by upbeat comments from the European Central Bank.

At 4:10 AM ET (0810 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.9% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 1.4%, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.9%, and the pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.8%, climbing close to the record levels seen in mid-August.

Helping the tone Wednesday were comments by ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos, stating in a Spanish newspaper that the Eurozone economy is growing quicker than the ECB expected and hinting at an upward revision to the bank's growth forecasts when its policy-making council next meets.

This has overshadowed the release of disappointing German retail sales for July, which slumped 5.1% on the month, in a sign that a consumer-driven recovery in Europe's largest economy may be running out of gas. The Eurozone manufacturing PMI for August also fell by more than expected, although it remained at a historically high 61.4.

Data released earlier Wednesday showed China’s factory activity entered contraction territory for the first time in nearly one-and-a-half years in August, also pointing to a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. 

Back in Europe, there are more economic data releases due, including the latest Eurozone unemployment figures for July.

In corporate news, Pernod Ricard (PA:PERP) stock rose 3.5% after the French drinks maker expressed confidence in its sales momentum, saying its first quarter, which started in July, would be "very dynamic".

On the flip side, WH Smith (LON:SMWH) stock fell 6.8% after the U.K. retailer warned that profitability for the year ending August 2022 will be at the lower end of market expectations, citing uncertainty in the recovery of travel. Many of WH Smith's outlets are in airports and train and bus stations.

Carrefour (PA:CARR) stock slipped 3.7% after French billionaire investor Bernard Arnault sold his 5.7% stake in the supermarket group via an accelerated bookbuilding process, according to bookrunner Societe Generale (OTC:SCGLY).

Crude prices rose Wednesday after OPEC+ raising its forecast for oil demand next year ahead of a meeting later Wednesday to decide future production levels.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, is expected to confirm the addition of another 400,000 barrels per day of supply each month through December.

Ahead of this, Reuters reported that the group's experts have revised its 2022 oil demand growth forecast to 4.2 million barrels per day, up from the previous forecast of 3.28 million barrels per day. 

Also helping the tone, the American Petroleum Institute reported on Tuesday a draw of just over 4 million barrels in U.S. crude supply for last week, and investors will be looking to see if the U.S. Energy Information Administration confirms this sign of strength later in the session.

By 4:10 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.9% higher at $69.08 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.8% to $72.19.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,811.85/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1804.



European Stocks Higher; Pernod Ricard Expects "Dynamic" Quarter

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