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NEW YORK, April 5 — European shares rose today led by consumer and technology companies, while a rally in oil prices on the prospect of more sanctions against crude exporter Russia lifted energy stocks.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.3 per cent and was set to post their third straight session of gains as oil and gas sector .SXEP rose 0.8 per cent and partly offset losses in some banks and basic material shares.
“The focus today is very much going to be split up (between rising oil prices aiding energy stocks and inflation),” said Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.
“But everybody is just thinking about what next in terms of sanctions on Russia, will there actually be meaningful discussions about a ban on European imports of Russian oil and coal.”
The European Union will most likely adopt a new round of sanctions against Russia, while the United States was also planning new moves this week to punish Moscow over civilian killings in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, PMI surveys today showed euro zone business growth got a boost last month from the re-opening of economies, but soaring energy costs and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threaten the recovery.
The STOXX 600 index has recovered about 14 per cent from lows hit after Russia’s “special military operation” into Ukraine began, but it is still down around 5 per cent for the year.
“With geopolitics at the forefront of investors’ minds, the next few days could be rough and rocky for global markets,” said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM.
In France, opinion polls see President Emmanuel Macron winning a second term in a two-round presidential election on April 10 and 24, but far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is narrowing the gap.
France’s CAC 40 which is down around 6 per cent for the year, fell 0.4 per cent.
“Macron has been a huge figure in discussions in the push for increased sanctions. Anything that dents his position will affect the sentiment about what Europe as a whole will do going forward and that will impact markets,” AJ Bell’s Hewson said.
Among individual stocks, Aareal Bank rose 3.8 per cent after a buyout group seeking to take over the German lender in a US$2.2 billion (RM9.26 billion) deal said it had secured commitments from shareholders to tender around 37 per cent of stock after it raised its offer price again.
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind jumped 9.4 per cent after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock on its shift away from fossil fuels. — Reuters