(Bloomberg) -- European stocks rose, snapping their longest losing streak since October, after a positive update from Hermes International lifted luxury shares and chipmakers rallied.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.1% as of 8:15 a.m. in London, within 5% of a record high reached exactly a year ago. Hermes rallied 7.7% after its sales beat analyst estimates. BE Semiconductor Industries NV led gains in chipmakers after it kept a favorable outlook, while a bullish forecast from U.S. bellwether Applied Materials Inc. also helped. Energy shares declined, the worst performing sector, as a rally in crude prices eased.
A year since European stocks began their pandemic-fueled descent from peaks, the Stoxx 600 is still recovering. After kicking off this week by rallying to the highest level since last February, the Stoxx 600 dropped for three straight days as investors weighed recent gains against mixed earnings reports. Still, strategists on average expect more gains for the region’s equities this year, with many saying a pullback may be temporary.
“I am thinking this is a healthy setback after the strong start to the year,” said Ulrich Urbahn, head of multi-asset strategy and research at Berenberg Bank. “Economic optimism, higher-than-expected fourth-quarter corporate earnings, positive revisions to earnings expectations and high cash balances are causing investors to see selloffs as a buying opportunity.”
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