Europe open: Stoxx maintains record level on recovery hopes, US spending
European stocks edged into record territory at the open on Wednesday as investors continued to trade on hopes of a swift economic recovery and a massive US spending programme and growth upgrades from the IMF overnight.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1% at 0748 GMT after closing at an all-time high of 435.26 points on Tuesday.
All regional bourses were slightly higher with the UK’s FTSE 100 outperforming, rising 0.73% driven by a weaker pound, benefiting the exporter-dominated index.
Investors were also cheered by the roll-out of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine in Britain, where almost half the population has been vaccinated, although fears of blood clots in children from the AstraZeneca jab and reports of a slowdown in supply had tempered the mood.
Eyes were also on final readings of UK and euro zone March services sector activity later in the day.
Shares in Flutter Entertainment fell on the back of a share placing and reports Fox Corp has filed a suit against the company related to its option to buy an 18.6% stake in US sports betting group FanDuel.
Fox wants to buy the stake at an $11.2bn valuation, which is the value that was set when it bought a 37.2% stake from Fastball in December, but Flutter wants fair market value.
Oil giant Shell rose despite reporting that the extreme weather in Texas last February was expected to hit first-quarter adjusted earnings by up to $200m.
Deliveroo shares opened 3.5% higher on the first day of unconditional trading, as retail investors were allowed to take part for the first time. However, this is still around a quarter lower than the initial offer price of 390p each. Reports overnight said underwriters Goldman Sachs ended up picking up around £75m worth of stock after last week’s disappointing debut.