Salem Radio Network News Saturday, September 18, 2021

Business

M&A rush, earnings power European stocks to new highs

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) -European stocks scaled fresh peaks on Monday, driven by dealmaking activity and strong results from Europe’s biggest bank HSBC, with a rebound in Asian stocks also helping set a bright start to August.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.6% to hit an all-time high of 464.5 points, with retailers, automakers and miners among the top performers.

British aero-engineer Meggitt soared 58.2% to hit a life high after U.S. industrial firm Parker-Hannifin said it would buy the UK rival in a deal valued at $8.76 billion.

Among other deals, British asset management services provider Sanne Group jumped 7.9% after it said it could get a takeover bid from fund servicer Apex Group.

UK’s midcap index gained 0.6%, while the blue-chip FTSE 100 index added 0.8%. [.L]

In earnings, Asia-focussed lender HSBC inched up 0.5% after it beat forecasts for first-half pretax profit and reinstated dividend payments.

French insurer Axa gained 2.5% after it posted a 180% surge in first-half net income, while German rival Allianz tumbled 6.4% after U.S. regulators started a probe relating to Allianz Global Investors’ Structured Alpha Funds.

Of the more than half of the STOXX 600 companies that have reported second-quarter results so far, 67% have topped profit estimates, as per Refinitiv IBES data.

“Having reached all-time highs post 1Q results, the breadth of positive EPS revisions in Europe remains very strong both in absolute terms and versus peers,” European equity strategists at Morgan Stanley said in a note. “Europe now sees the best earnings revisions of all global regions.”

Meanwhile, a survey showed manufacturing activity across the euro zone continued to expand at a blistering pace in July, but supply bottlenecks sent input costs soaring.

Optimism around European earnings and economic reopening helped the benchmark STOXX 600 end July with a sixth straight month of gains despite concerns about inflation, soaring virus cases in Asia and a major regulatory crackdown in China.

British jet and auto parts supplier Senior Plc jumped 4.3% after it reported a first-half profit compared with a loss a year earlier.

Peer Melrose gained 6.2%, while Rolls-Royce added 3.5%.

The world’s second-largest brewer Heineken inched up 0.6% after reporting first-half earnings above expectations, but warned rising commodity costs would eat into margins.

German carmaker Daimler rose 2.2% after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its conviction list.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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