Malta Independent

European stocks rise for a fifth day


European shares gained for the fifth day on Tuesday, bolstered by bank and retails stocks while data out of China added to hopes of stabilizat­ion in the world’s second-largest economy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.2 percent by 0928 GMT led by Germany’s DAX 0.6 percent rise while Spanish and Italian bourses were flat to modestly lower.

Also encouragin­g investors was a ZEW survey showing the mood among German investors improved in April, as the growth outlook for Europe’s largest economy brightened amid a resilient global economy and a delay to Britain’s departure from the EU.

Another major boost to STOXX 600 were banks, the best performing sector this month after auto stocks. The index of STOXX 50 volatility, the main gauge of market anxiety in Europe, fell for the sixth day to touch its lowest since mid-January 2018.

The U.S.-China trade dispute, signs of slowing global corporate earnings and weaker business investment have all put pressure on riskier assets in the past year, but investors have been quick to seize on positive news.

All eyes are now on Chinese quarterly GDP data due on Wednesday. After a worrying start to the year, Chinese data have been more positive as authoritie­s ramped up stimulus measures, soothing investor fears about a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, edged up 0.1 percent in early European trade.

U.S. West Texas Intermedia­te was flat at $63.46 per barrel after losing nearly 0.8 percent the previous day. Oil has been surging on tightening global supplies, as output has fallen in Iran and Venezuela amid signs the United States will toughen sanctions on those two OPEC producers, and on the threat that renewed fighting could stop production in Libya.

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