European shares are trading higher Wednesday after Tuesday’s May Day break. Those gains are supported by a boost to the tech sector from Apple’s positive Q2 earnings posted overnight.
A little uncertainty is helping to limit those gains, however, after Eurostat reported a slowdown in economic growth across the eurozone in the first quarter of the year.
By 1345 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.50% higher, while the EUROSTOXX 50 had gained 0.42%. The German DAX was 1.23% in the green, the French CAC was up 0.08% while the Spanish IBEX was 0.93% in positive territory.
Apple’s results boost tech stocks
Tech giant Apple published its Q2 earnings overnight and said it experienced the strongest three months to March on record. Revenues rose 16% to $61.1 billion, while iPhone sales hit 52.2 million, only a little below the company’s own estimates.
That performance helped lift tech stocks traded on the European indexes.
AMS AG shares surged 6.63% to CHF87.84 as investors gained confidence in the business that supplies chips to Apple.
However, while other chipmaker stocks also gained and miners were positive on rising copper prices and news of improvement in China’s factory data, eurozone GDP figures disappointed and likely helped limit broader gains.
Eurostat said earlier Wednesday that preliminary calculations of GDP growth in the euro zone showed a 0.4% increase in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the fourth quarter of 2017. GDP grew 0.7% on the quarter in Q4 2017.
There was also a slowdown in the annual pace of economic growth to 2.5% in Q1 2018 from 2.8% in Q4 2017.
Nestle shares were among the stock fallers in Europe Wednesday. They were trading around 1% lower after the food group confirmed it had reached an agreement over pricing with European retailers.
Paddy Power Betfair shares, meanwhile, slid 4.41% to £6,935 after reporting a fall in Q1 earnings, along with a £500 million share buyback programme.