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European shares rise as earnings take centre stage; Powell's comments on tap

Published 10/07/2024, 06:32 pm
Updated 10/07/2024, 10:15 pm
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, July 4, 2024.     REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

By Shubham Batra

(Reuters) - European shares advanced on Wednesday led by corporate earnings, although gains were limited by weak oil and metal prices, while investors awaited Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's second day of testimony for more clues on interest rates.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.2% by 0815 GMT, led by a more than 1% rise in real estate shares.

Limiting the gains, basic resources was down 0.5% as crude oil and base metals prices declined.

French stocks were up 0.2% after falling in the previous session, as investors assessed the political situation following Sunday's legislative election.

Powell on Tuesday said inflation "remains above" the Fed's 2% target, but has been improving in recent months and "more good data would strengthen" the case for interest rate cuts.

His second day of monetary policy testimony before the House Financial Services Committee is scheduled for 1400 GMT.

Markets are also awaiting June inflation data out of the U.S. and Germany due on Thursday.

On quarterly earnings forecast, Deutsche Bank (ETR:DBKGn) analysts in a note said, "we expect both earnings and sales to have increased slightly in Q2, marking the first positive y-o-y growth rate since Q1 2023."

Norwegian aerospace and defence company Kongsberg Gruppen climbed 8.1% to the top of the benchmark index after reporting strong revenue growth, improved margins and growing order backlog in the second quarter.

Enagas rose 3.6% after the Spanish grid operator agreed to sell its 30.2% stake in Tallgrass Energy to U.S. fund Blackstone (NYSE:BX) for $1.1 billion.

On the other hand, UK's Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) slid 2.4% as the homebuilder forecast a fall of up to 7% in its home-building targets for fiscal year 2025, citing high mortgage rates and broader economic concerns.

"Higher interest rates have caused the UK housing market to stall over the last couple of years, and although mortgage demand looks to be gradually picking up, the ambitious targets set by the new government could be exactly what is required to get the market moving," said Mark Crouch, analyst at investment platform eToro.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, July 4, 2024.     REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

Travis Perkins (LON:TPK) jumped 4.4% after British construction materials firm named Pete Redfern as its new CEO, succeeding Nick Roberts who will step down on Sept. 16 after five years at the helm.

Volkswagen (ETR:VOWG_p) shares slipped 2.2% after it warned of closing the Brussels site of its luxury brand Audi due to a sharp drop in demand for high-end electric cars that has hit Europe's top carmaker. (This story has been corrected to change Powell's testimony timings to 1400 GMT from 1000 GMT in paragraph 6)

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