Europe midday: Stocks rise on car sales data, Greece optimism

Europe midday: Stocks rise on car sales data, Greece optimism

European stocks were modestly higher at the end of the week on the back of improved European car sales data and on the high-heeled slippers of progress overnight on debt ease for Greece.

As of one thousand one hundred forty five BST the benchmark Stoxx six hundred is higher by 0.57% or Two.22 points to 388.27, alongside a rise of 0.32% for the German Dax to 12,732.86 and a build up of 0.75% in the Cac-40 to Five,255.92.

In parallel, euro-dollar was edging higher by 0.11% to 1.2769 while front month Brent crude oil futures 0.56% at $44.71 per barrel on the ICE.

European car sales bounced back in May, rising by 7.7% to 1.43m vehicles according to ACEA, following a drop of 6.8% in April.

Acting as a backdrop, the Athens Stock Exchange’s general index was up by 1.33% at 810.34 and near a two-year high. Meantime, the yield on the country’s two-year debt was down by twenty basis points at Four.78%.

Overnight, euro area finance ministers finished the 2nd programme review for Greece, agreeing to dispense a fresh tranche of €8.5bn in fresh loans for the stricken Mediterranean country, which would permit it to meet large bond repayments falling due in June.

They also agreed on a medium-term debt strategy for further debt ease, committing to increase ease should the country’s economic expansion falter.

The International Monetary Fund also announced it would approve in principle a fresh stand-by credit line for Greece.

Commenting on Thursday night’s developments, Antonio Garcia Pascual at Barclays Research said: "the next event for Greece will be the IMF board meeting on Greece (date not announced yet). Overall, we take today’s outcome as good news for investors, as the IMF involvement and the enhanced debt ease commitments increase the chances of a better macroeconomic outcome for Greece in the longer term."

In other economic news, Eurostat confirmed that the rate of increase in euro area consumer prices dropped from a 1.9% year-on-year clip in April to 1.4% for May.

At the core level, CPI ran at a 0.9% year-on-year clip in May, which was also in-line with the preliminary estimate.

Still on the calendar for Friday were US housing starts figures for the month of May at one thousand four hundred thirty BST and the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence survey for the month of June at one thousand five hundred BST.

French lender Societe Generale priced shares of its car leasing arm at the lower end of its target range ahead of its initial public suggesting, raising €1.2bn.

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