EU stocks up, investors continue to gauge the health economy
European markets rose as investors appreciated the improving global economy and corporate earnings.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index advanced by 0.32%. Banks gained 0.95%, mining stocks added 0.88%, and utilities retreated 0.52%.
The U.K. Labor Market Index showed unemployment slightly higher, but the number of people classified as economically inactive fell by 0.42 percentage points to 21.12%. Meanwhile, salaries in the private sector increased by 6.93% and in the public sector by 5.32%.
Wednesday’s consumer price inflation figures in the U.K. could be decisive.
Airline Easyjet advanced 3% after narrowing its first-quarter loss.
Sweden’s Ericsson retreated 6.23% after reporting a quarterly drop in sales and a year-over-year drop in earnings.
Asia-Pacific markets were mixed as China’s economy grew by a better-than-expected 4.53% year-on-year.
US stock futures rose following major averages, gradually increasing to begin a highly populated week of corporate accountings.
The unemployment rate in Great Britain increased by 0.1 percentage points to 3.8% from December to February 2023. Estimates suggested that the figure would be flat. However, the rate of economic inactivity fell by 0.41 percentage points.
Wages rose more than expected by 5.92%, including bonuses. The pay rise reached 6.92% in the private sector and 5.3% in the public sector.
Asian stocks were muted
Most Asian stocks traded in lower ranges as fears of a U.S. interest rate hike offset optimism over a stronger-than-expected rise in China.
China’s economy expanded by a better-than-expected 4.53% in the first quarter of 2023, helped in large part by lifting anti-COVID restrictions earlier this year.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index retreated by 0.82%. The data also showed that investment in China’s estate sector slowed.
Still, strong retail sales figures showed that a consumption-driven recovery in China’s economy is largely on track, which should benefit the country’s exporters in the near term.
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