Insurers Lead Eurostoxx 50 Up

on Nov 14, 2016

European equities are having a generally positive day to start the week with the Eurostoxx 50 reflecting that. Futures of the European basket index gained 1.1% in early trading though the index itself lost its early momentum in the lead up to midday. The afternoon so far has seen a slight uplift and the index is currently trading at a 0.38% gain on Friday’s closing position.

**AXA Leads the Financial Services Charge**
France’s insurance behemoth AXA is the index’s biggest gainer so far today, up 2.21%. The company announced the impending sale of Bluefin Group, A UK-based insurance broker, to British rival broker Marsh for £295 million. The sale is expected to complete in Q1 of 2017. Dutch banking, financial services and insurance group ING is also doing well, up 1.56%.

Banking and financial services equities are doing well across Europe with those represented in the Eurostoxx 50 all up today. Germany’s Allianz is up 0.93%, BNP Paribas 1.57%, Deutsche Bank 1.53%, Societe Generale 1.09%, Banco Santander of Spain 0.96% and UniCredit 0.35%.
Rumours have started swirling today about a potential merger between France’s Societe Generale and UniCredit of Italy, involving a 10 billion euro recapitilisation of the Italian bank. Both companies have declined to comment, adding fuel to the rumours.

Airbus is also having a good day as aviation and engineering companies in the aviation space trend up. The company has gained 1.73%.
French commercial property investor UNIBAIL-RODAMCO is todays biggest loser on the Eurostoxx 50, having slumped by 2% so far today, roughly what it gained during Friday’s session. The expected rise in interest rates in the U.S is expected to increase the company’s debt burden, something that property developers are particularly sensitive to.
Italian oil and gas company Eni also hasn’t had a great day, down a little over 1.8%. Utilities and energy companies are having a tough time of it across the board today, weighed down by the limp oil price, bumping along at 3 month lows. Spain’s Iberdrola (-1.26), Germany’s E.On (-0.37) and France’s Total (-1.01%) are all down today. Iran has announced an increase in oil production and operating U.S rig numbers increasing has sparked concerns of a new oil glut coming onto the market.

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