European shares higher amid upbeat data, earnings

European shares are higher Wednesday as investor sentiment has gained some support from the US market tone and positive German GDP data.

European shares higher amid upbeat data, earnings

European shares are trading in positive territory shortly before midday Wednesday, as investors gain confidence from upbeat economic data and some expectations beating earnings results. However, things could change later Wednesday once US inflation data is published.

By 1130 BST, European indices were all higher. The EUROSTOXX 600 gained 0.66% and the EUROSTOXX 50 was up 0.56%. The German DAX rose 0.60%, the French CAC was 0.67% in the green while the Spanish IBEX was 0.55% in positive territory.

German economic growth buoys investors

The German Federal Statistics Office reported the latest German GDP data earlier Wednesday, which showed a 0.6% rise in the fourth quarter of 2017 and an annualised gain of 2.5%. While that annualised figure was below the 2.9% rise in the third quarter, it was in line with market expectations.

The details showed growth continued to be driven by strong exports despite the higher euro.

Wednesday’s GDP data follows news in January that the German government increased its growth forecast to 2.4% for 2018 from 1.8%, previously.

The German data helped support already mildly positive investor sentiment which had initially followed the US higher.

Stocks news

German economic data wasn’t the only driver of European indices Wednesday. A number of earnings releases also helped direct the markets.

Credit Suisse shares rose after reporting a smaller than expected full year loss for 2017, earlier Wednesday. The Swiss bank said it remains committed to its restructuring plan.

Credit Suisse shares rose 2.73% to CHF16.94.

Sky shares also rose Wednesday after the media business announced it had paid less for its Premier League football rights than in the previous bidding round. Sky shares rose 3.25% to £1,095.50.

There were some fallers amid the more positive tone.

H&M shares slipped 1.99% to SEK138.74 as the Swedish-based fashion retailer conducts its first ever Capital Markets day.

Other fallers included:

  • Credit Agricole shares down 3.29% at €13.50.
  • Total shares slid 1.31% to €45.13.
  • Thyssenkrupp shares 1.90% lower at €22.66.

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