Insurers help European shares to bounce back
European equities advanced on Tuesday after a long weekend, with insurers leading the market higher after companies such as RSA Insurance and NN Group rose following some bullish broker comments.
The STOXX Europe 600 Insurance index was up 1.4 percent, the top sectoral gainer. RSA Insurance rose 2 percent after Deutsche Bank and Barclays increased their target prices for the stock, while Dutch insurer NN Group gained 2.2 percent after HSBC added it to its "Europe Super 10" list. "We add NN Group because it offers an attractive capital return in what we expect to be an uncertain top-down environment where we expect sustainable higher yielding assets to be very much in demand," HSBC analysts said in a note.
"We see it continuing to generate high and sustainable net cash flows to fund a compelling return to shareholders."
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.7 percent by 0805 GMT after falling 1.5 percent on Thursday. European markets were closed on Friday and Monday due to the Easter holiday.
However, the index is still down nearly 8 percent this year, with the FTSEurofirst struggling to come out of its recent narrow trading range.
"Trading in the next few days is likely to be influenced by repositioning ahead of the end of the first quarter, possibly giving stocks a temporary lift," Markus Huber, trader at City of London Markets, said.