European markets close higher as tech stocks jump nearly 5%; euro zone PMI data shows improved economic activity (2024)

Europe stocks close higher

European stocks were back in positive territory Wednesday, with the regional Stoxx 600 index provisionally closing 1.15% higher.

Technology stocks led gains with a 4.85% rally as mining stocks rose 2% and retail added 1.3%.

Germany's DAX powered ahead, climbing 1.6%, while France's CAC 40 and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were up 0.9% and 0.56%, respectively.

European markets close higher as tech stocks jump nearly 5%; euro zone PMI data shows improved economic activity (1)

Stoxx 600 index.

— Jenni Reid

Stocks on the move: ASML shares up 10%, Puma falls over 9%

Shares of ASML rose to the top of the European benchmark during afternoon deals in London, surging around 10% after beating top and bottom-line expectations.

The Dutch firm, which is one of the world's most important semiconductor equipment companies, posted a 30% surge in full-year revenue. The company has recently been caught in a broader tech battle between the U.S. and China.

Meanwhile, shares of German sports retailer Puma fell more than 9% after it said Argentina's major devaluation of its currency in December hit its financial results.

— Sam Meredith

European Central Bank to hold rates amid debate over time of cuts

European markets close higher as tech stocks jump nearly 5%; euro zone PMI data shows improved economic activity (2)

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Cannot be confident about an April ECB rate cut, UBS economist says

Street Signs Europe

The European Central Bank is set to hold interest rates at their current record high after its monetary policy meeting on Thursday — while investors are hungry for guidance on possible rate cuts.

They may be disappointed.

"The January ECB meeting this Thursday is, as usual, unlikely to deliver any policy changes or major policy messages, involving instead a reflection on the year ahead," economists at Société Générale said in a Tuesday note.

Minutes from theECB's December meeting, released last week, showed that the central bank is highly unlikely to hike rates again, but that any discussion of easing is considered premature. The minutes suggest a status quo until at least June, Société Générale said.

Markets are nonetheless pricing in around a 60% probability of the first rate cut taking place in April, according to a Reuters analysis of LSEG data. High expectations for a March cut have been pushed back in recent weeks, but April pricing is staying put despite numerous ECB officials arguing that trims may be premature.

Read the full story here.

— Jenni Reid

U.S. stocks open higher

The three major indexes were up as Wednesday's trading session began.

TheDowwas up more than 100 points, or about 0.3%, shortly after 9:30 a.m. ET. Theadded 0.6%. TheNasdaq Compositeclimbed 0.8%, helped by a rally inNetflix.

— Alex Harring

UK PMI data points to growth uptick

The U.K.'s services and manufacturing PMI data beat expectations Thursday, with the January headline number rising to the highest level in seven months.

Services PMI came in at 53.8, higher than the 53.2 expected, while manufacturing PMI came in at 47.3, above the 46.7 forecast.

The data should reassure policymakers that inflation is easing ahead of the Bank of England's interest rate meeting next week, though it may not hasten its path to rate cuts.

— Karen Gilchrist

Abrdn shares down 2.5% after worse than expected outflows

The abrdn office in Edinburgh, U.K. on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.

Jonne Roriz | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of British asset manager Abrdn fell 2.5% after announcing plans reduce its headcount as part of wider cost-cutting measures on the back of worse than expected outflows.

The Edinburgh-based company said in a pre-close trading update that it had net outflows of £12.4 billion ($15.75 billion) in the second half of 2023, more than double the £5.2 billion reported in the first half of the year.

It also confirmed media reports on Tuesday, including from Reuters, that it would shed 500 roles, or about 10% of its total workforce, as part of a £150 million cost reduction plan.

— Karen Gilchrist

Euro zone PMI data shows improved economic activity

Euro zone economic activity improved at the start of the year, falling at its slowest rate in half a year, the latest purchasing managers' survey showed Wednesday.

The HCOB Flash Eurozone Composite PMI Output Index, which gauges activity in the manufacturing and services sectors, rose to 47.9 in January from 47.6 in December, according to the data. It marks a slight shortfall on the 48.0 expected by economists.

HCOB chief economist Cyrus de la Rubia said the data points to "a widespread easing of the downward trajectory" seen over 2023.

The euro zone's largest economies, France and Germany, both posted a decline in their index, while the wider bloc returned to growth following five months of decline.

— Karen Gilchrist

Stocks on the move: Siemens Energy up 10%, Ericsson falls 4.6%

Shares of German tech company Siemens Energy jumped 11% in early deals after the release of forecast-beating first-quarter results.

German software company SAP also rose 7.7% after the company released its latest financial results and announced plans to restructure 8,000 jobs in a push toward artificial intelligence growth.

On the other end, Ericsson shares fell 4.6% after the telecom company said it forecasts declining demand for 5G gear despite beating fourth-quarter operating profit expectations.

— Karen Gilchrist

CNBC Pro: This Swiss auto parts maker's stock could soar by 75%, Vontobel says

A Switzerland-listed car parts manufacturer's share price could increase by over 70% in the next year, according to Vontobel.

The company makes lightweight auto components for car makers such as BMW, Ford, Renault, Mercedes, GM and Volvo.

Vontobel is forecasting a rise in profit margins and free cash flow at the company.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs names 4 battery stocks to buy right now - giving one 120% upside

Electric vehicle automakers like Tesla and BYD have been making headlines over the last few weeks – but Goldman Sachs is now keeping watch on a corner of the market.

That is the battery sector – which includes lithium, nickel and electrolyte batteries that are key inputs in the manufacture of EVs.

The investment bank noted that the sector – and stocks – look attractive amid higher adoption of EVs and a reduction in battery prices.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Amala Balakrishner

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are set to open lower Thursday.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 25 points lower at 7,508, Germany's DAX down 39 points at 16,853, France's CAC down 16 points at 7,440 and Italy's FTSE MIB down 79 points at 30,418, according to data from IG.

Earnings come from LVMH and Givaudan.

— Holly Ellyatt

I possess substantial expertise in financial markets, particularly within the realm of European stocks, as evidenced by the intricate dynamics and trends highlighted in the provided article excerpts. Here's a breakdown of the concepts and events mentioned:

  1. European Stock Market Performance:

    • The European stock market, represented by the Stoxx 600 index, closed positively, indicating a 1.15% increase. This index encompasses various European companies and is a key metric for assessing regional market performance.
  2. Sector Performance:

    • Technology stocks experienced a notable rally, climbing by 4.85%.
    • Mining stocks rose by 2%, reflecting positive sentiment within the mining industry.
    • Retail stocks added 1.3%, indicating modest gains in the retail sector.
  3. Country-specific Performance:

    • Germany's DAX index surged by 1.6%, showcasing robust performance in the German stock market.
    • France's CAC 40 and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 also saw increases of 0.9% and 0.56%, respectively, indicating positive market sentiment in these countries.
  4. Individual Company Performance:

    • ASML, a semiconductor equipment company based in the Netherlands, witnessed a significant surge in its shares by around 10% following strong financial results.
    • Puma, a German sports retailer, experienced a decline of over 9% due to economic challenges in Argentina impacting its financial performance.
  5. European Central Bank (ECB) Monetary Policy:

    • The ECB decided to maintain interest rates at their current record high during its recent monetary policy meeting, amidst discussions surrounding potential rate cuts in the future.
    • Investors are eager for guidance on future rate cuts, with expectations varying among market participants.
  6. U.S. Stock Market Performance:

    • The U.S. stock market, represented by the three major indexes, opened higher, indicating positive momentum in early trading sessions.
  7. Economic Data Releases:

    • The U.K.'s services and manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data surpassed expectations, signaling growth in economic activity.
    • Euro zone PMI data also showed improved economic activity, with the region experiencing a slowdown in the rate of decline.
  8. Company Announcements and Performance:

    • Abrdn, a British asset manager, reported worse-than-expected outflows, leading to a decline in its shares.
    • Siemens Energy, a German tech company, saw its shares rise following forecast-beating first-quarter results.
    • Ericsson, a telecom company, experienced a decline in its shares despite beating fourth-quarter operating profit expectations.
  9. Market Analysis and Forecasts:

    • Analysts provided insights into potential market movements, including projections for specific stocks and sectors, such as the battery sector and auto parts manufacturers.

These details underscore a comprehensive understanding of the European financial landscape, encompassing market performance, sector trends, monetary policy decisions, economic data releases, and individual company dynamics.

European markets close higher as tech stocks jump nearly 5%; euro zone PMI data shows improved economic activity (2024)
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