European stocks rise as investors digest positive earnings reports

Edmund Heaphy
·Finance and news reporter
·2 mins read
An aircraft passes a television tower and buildings of the banking district as it approaches the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, just before sunrise on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Several major firms across Europe have reported positive financial results this week. Photo; Michael Probst/AP

European stocks rose on Wednesday as investors across the continent examined a batch of broadly positive earnings releases from firms weathering the coronavirus crisis.

Shares in Dutch international retailer Ahold Delhaize (AD.AS), which operates supermarkets in both the US and Europe, surged after it raised its sales outlook for the year.

Bank of Ireland (BIRG.IR) was the biggest gainer on the the pan-European STOXX 600 index (^STOXX), which climbed by 0.6% on Wednesday, after it said that its outlook was “cautiously more optimistic” than it had previously indicated.

Shares on London’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose by 1%. Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) climbed by around 0.9% after residential real estate firm Vonovia (VNA.DE) reported a jump in core profits during the first half of its financial year. France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) climbed by around 0.8%.

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The strong open in Europe followed a mixed trading session in Asia. The US and China are set to hold high-level discussions on 15 August to determine whether Beijing is complying with the phase one trade deal signed earlier this year, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Shanghai’s SSE Composite Index (^SSEC) rose by almost 0.2% on Wednesday, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) closed around 0.4% in the green in Hong Kong.

Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) fell by 0.26%, while the KOSPI Composite Index (^KOSPI) in South Korea climbed by around 1.4%. Australia’s ASX 200 (^AXJO) fell by 0.6%.

READ MORE: Highest-paid UK CEO earned nearly 2,000 times average worker

Futures were pointing to a higher open for stocks in the US, even after lawmakers there warned that they were not close to reaching a deal on a batch of new stimulus measures.

“We are still far away on a lot of the important issues, but we are continuing to go at it,” Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate minority leader, said on Tuesday (4 August).

Futures on the S&P 500 (ES=F) rose by around 0.5%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) climbed by 0.65%. Nasdaq futures (NQ=F), meanwhile, were up by around 0.4%.