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European shares rise, led by auto stocks and strong UK retail sales data

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European shares are higher again Thursday, as the auto sector is leading gains following an upgrade from Kepler Cheuvreux analysts. Investors were also buoyed by upbeat UK retail sales data, while some individual stocks news was also supportive.

By 1325 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.50% higher, while the EUROSTOXX 50 had gained 0.83%. Regional bourses were also uniformly upbeat. The German DAX was 0.60% in the green, the French CAC was up 0.85% and the Spanish IBEX was 1.14% in positive territory.

Auto stocks make gains

European auto stocks were generally higher Thursday, despite the ongoing US-China trade war concerns, supported by a recommendations upgrade from Kepler Cheuvreux analysts.

The group’s strategists said that investors had already priced a lot of bad news into the sector, helping to push stock prices down to low levels. Amid that view, numerous European car stocks were in the green:

  • BMW shares rose 1.46% to €84.76.
  • Volkswagen shared gained 1.69% to €153.66.
  • Fiat Chrysler shares moved 1.43% higher to €15.58.
  • Volvo shares were up 2.30% to SEK157.70.

However, stocks weren’t all higher Thursday. Ryanair shares slipped 1.05% to €13.65 after signs there was a loss of some support for the management team at this years’ AGM.

While the leadership team was once again voted in, the percentage of shareholders who voted for them was notably lower than a year earlier. That suggests a of industrial action from its staff has taken its toll on the budget airlines’ investors.

UK retail sales data

Separately, some upbeat UK retail sales data helped buoy investor sentiment.

The Office for National Statistics data showed retail sales grew 0.3% on the month and 3.4% on the year in August, beating expectations.

The news that UK consumers are still shopping is a positive sign for investors, particularly as Brexit worries are weighing on the economic outlook.

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