Canada Markets closed

StockBeat: Europe Markets Start 2020 With a Bang

By Geoffrey Smith -- European stock markets got off to a flying start in 2020, rising across the board on optimism stoked by China’s latest monetary policy easing and President Donald Trump’s confirmation that the ‘phase-1’ trade deal with Beijing will be signed on Jan. 15.

Stocks were also building on a growing consensus that European markets are at present more attractively valued than their U.S. counterparts. They were also shrugging off as 'last year's news' a round of purchasing manager indices from IHS Markit which showed German, U.K. and Italian factories all in contraction in December.

By 5 AM ET (1000 GMT), the benchmark Euro Stoxx 600 was at 419.92, up 0.9% on the day and just off an intraday high of 420.72, which represented a new all-time high.

The U.K. FTSE 100 was up 1.0%, while the German DAX was up 0.8%, while the biggest gains were in Sweden, where the OMX rose 1.9%.

Among the biggest gainers were those that had fared worst in 2019, with banks leaping as bond yields hit their highest in months. Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) rose 5.2% and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) rose 7.0% as the German 10-year bond yield hit its highest since May, easing the pressure of negative interest rates on profit margins.

Bankia (MC:BKIA) led a strong Spanish banking sector with a 4.2% rise, while Santander (MC:SAN) was 3.2% higher, as was Dutch giant ING Groep (AS:INGA).

Airbus (PA:AIR) led gains in France, capitalizing on the improvement in the trade outlook and on the woes of its biggest rival, Boeing (NYSE:BA).

Bucking the trend was U.K. independent oil and gas producer Tullow Oil (LON:TLW), which fell 4.7% after announcing disappointing drilling results in Guyana.

Overnight, China's central bank had reduced its reserve requirement for banks again, freeing up some $115 billion in liquidity for banks to use. The move was partly seasonal, given that banks require more liquidity over the coming Chinese new year holiday.

Related Articles

India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 0.82%

Trial delay helped to push Ghosn to flee Japan: sources

New year cheer for stocks as rally rumbles on