European markets trade higher as wave of earnings reports buoy stocks

European markets trade higher as wave of earnings reports buoy stocks

European indexes inched higher on Tuesday, as a wave of upbeat earnings reports helped keep stocks in the green, while markets anticipate U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen’s closely watched appearance before Congress later in the day.

The pan-European Stoxx 600

was 0.1% higher, while London’s FTSE 100

rose 0.2%. In Paris the CAC 40

was trading just below flat, and Frankfurt’s DAX

was up 0.1%.

Dow futures

were pointing up 130 points, set for a strong open after the market was closed on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

A wave of earnings reports is moving markets in Europe, ahead of a big day for corporate news in the U.S., with a number of positive reports from large companies helping keep indexes in the green.

“These earnings reports will help provide a bit of clarity on how the corporate world is coping with the latest wave of coronavirus as the markets continue to weigh the rising infection rates globally with the pace of vaccine rollouts,” said Russ Mould, an analyst at AJ Bell.

In the U.S., former Federal Reserve chair Yellen, nominated by President-elect Joe Biden to lead the Treasury, will appear before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday for a confirmation hearing. 

Read: Yellen says smartest thing to do now is ‘act big’ to help struggling Americans

It will be an opportunity for Yellen to sell Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan and advocate for a strong economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Brussels, the European Commission is set to adopt a policy paper warning that markets are too reliant on the dollar and setting out a plan to strengthen the international role of the euro, according to reports from Bloomberg and the Financial Times.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association reported that passenger-car registrations fell by 3.3% in December 2020 compared with the year prior, topping off the worst year on record — registrations in 2020 fell 24%.

European car makers’ stocks broadly fell, with Daimler
and Renault

all in the red.

Yet shares in Stellantis
the automotive giant formed out of the merger between Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot, were up close to 5%, extending the 7% rally yesterday in the stock’s first day of trading.

But many of the winners and losers in European markets were driven by earnings reports.

the Swiss computer-software and peripherals company, saw its stock jump 8% at the open, settling close to 3% higher, after the group issued upbeat earnings guidance for 2021. The company sees 57% to 60% sales growth at constant currencies, compared with its previous outlook of 35% to 40% sales growth.

Shares in London-listed Irish credit-reporting agency Experian

lifted 1.5%, after the group said its performance in the last quarter was better than expected, with revenue growth of 7% at constant currencies in the three months to the end of December 2020.

Retailer Superdry

saw its stock dive 10% after its earnings report detailed the damage of COVID-19 lockdowns on sales in the half-year to Oct. 24, 2020. The group lost £18.9 million before tax in the period, compared with £4.2 million in the year prior, and said it expected “prolonged store closures and subdued footfall” over the next few months. 

And it isn’t a sweet day for Swiss chocolatier Lindt
which said that sales in 2020 melted 6.1% to 4.02 billion Swiss francs — below expectations. The stock slipped more than 2%.

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