February 29, 2024

European shares kick off 2021 with rally on Brexit and vaccine optimism

(Reuters) -European shares rallied in the first trading session of the year on Monday, as…

European shares kick off 2021 with rally on Brexit and vaccine optimism

(Reuters) -European shares rallied in the first trading session of the year on Monday, as a landmark Brexit trade deal and coronavirus vaccination campaigns across the continent bolstered expectations of a strong economic rebound.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, December 29, 2020. REUTERS/Staff

The pan-regional STOXX 600 index gained 1.1{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} to touch fresh February 2020 highs, with economically sensitive mining and travel & leisure stocks jumping more than 3{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5}.

Germany-listed shares in the world’s biggest holiday company TUI rose 8.3{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} after its chief executive told a newspaper that he expects “a largely normal summer” this year.

Germany’s DAX was up 0.6{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} after a long weekend to trade below all-time highs, while France’s CAC 40 added 1.2{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5}.

Global stocks hit record highs, with the STOXX 600 recovering about 50{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} from its March 2020 trough as investors pinned their hopes on coronavirus vaccines to fuel a speedy economic bounceback.

Britain began vaccinating its population with the COVID-19 shot developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca on Monday.

“Vaccines, throughout the last half of 2020, have consistently been the biggest mover in terms of sentiment. So the fact that vaccines are now being rolled out only enhances that sense of new year optimism,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at SpreadEx.

Adding to the upbeat sentiment, a survey showed German factories churned out more goods in December despite a stricter lockdown to head off a spike in coronavirus deaths.

IHS Markit’s final Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing rose to 58.3 from 57.8 the previous month.

London’s blue-chip index gained 2.2{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} in its first day of trading with Britain outside the European Union’s orbit.

“It was announced in a slightly tricky time… maybe today is the first full-throated session for investors to fully react to the Brexit trade deal,” said Campbell.

While the hard-fought trade deal agreed late December set rules for industries such as fishing and agriculture, it did not cover Britain’s much larger finance sector, meaning automatic access to the EU’s financial markets came to an end on Dec. 31.

Shares in UK banks such as Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Natwest fell between 0.7{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} and 3{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5}, while the broader European banking index fell 0.2{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5}.

In a bright spot, however, Ladbrokes owner Entain Plc jumped 25.3{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} after it confirmed an $11 billion bid proposal from U.S. casino operator MGM Resorts, which it said significantly undervalued its business.

UK betting firms like Flutter Entertainment, William Hill and 888 rose between 0.1{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} and 2.8{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5}.

French wine and spirits maker Remy Cointreau slipped 1.2{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} as brokerage Kepler Cheuvreux downgraded the stock to “hold” after a U.S. decision last week to impose additional tariffs on French wines and cognac.

Reporting by Amal S and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shailesh Kuber