Europe close: French and German stocks push further into record territory
European shares moved further into record territory on Tuesday, led by German and French issues as investors cheered better than expected economic data in the States and out of the People's Republic of China.
US markets notched up record highs overnight as data published on 3 April showed that non-farm payroll growth in the US re-accelerated in April, nearly doubling economists' forecasts.
"European markets have led the way higher today, as US markets struggled to maintain the bullish momentum seen throughout yesterday's session. The dollar has been under pressure after a period of outperformance, with weakness for the greenback helping to lift commodity prices," said IG senior market analyst Josh Mahony.
Against that backdrop, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was 0.70% higher at 435.26, surpassing the previous record of 433.90 points set in February 2020, for a year-on-year gain of over 40%.
In parallel, the German Dax climbed 0.7% to 15,212.68, while the Cac-40 was 0.47% higher to 6,131.34.
The UK's top-flight index was up 1.28% to 6,823.55 as the government confirmed a further easing of lockdown restrictions with pubs and non-essential shops being given the green light to reopen from April 12. Shares in retail property owner Hammerson were up almost 5%, while cinema operator Cineworld stock rose 6%.
Shares in Iberia owner IAG were also higher on hopes of a return to non-essential international travel.
Credit Suisse stock dipped 0.39% as the investment bank warned of a SFR 4.4bn hit from the Archegos Capital affair when the US hedge fund was forced to liquidate billions of dollars worth of positions after being hit by margin calls just over a week ago.
Compounded by the Greensill Capital scandal, involving the collapse of the supply-chain financier with links to ex-UK prime minister David Cameron, Credit Suisse said that it was now facing a SFR 900m loss in the first quarter. It also announced at least two senior executives would be gone by May.
BP shares were higher as the oil giant said it expected to reach its $35bn net debt target in the first quarter of 2021 after earlier-than-expected proceeds from disposals and a “very strong” quarter. The stock rose on expectations that the oil major is paving the way for share buybacks.