Martedì, 18 Settembre 2018

Milan leads Europe-wide rally as stocks hit new highs


Milan, March 5 - European stocks reached
four-and-a-half-year highs Tuesday boosted by positive retail
sales data and a surge in US equities, which jumped after a
measure of service sector activity topped expectations and the
Dow beat its October 2007 record levels.
Milan's FTSE-MIB led gains among Europe's main bourses,
closing up 2.8% at 15,974.3, followed by Madrid's IBEX 35, which
gained 2.2% at 8,423.3.
Frankfurt's DAX and Paris's CAC 40 also put in strong gains
Tuesday, closing up, respectively, 2.3% (at 7,870.3) and 2.1%
(at 3,787.2. London's FTSE-100 trailed with a more modest +1.4%
close, at 6432.
European retail sales data for January, which showed a 1.2%
increase on the year-ago figure, came in above expectations,
boosting investor confidence ahead of a European Central Bank
rate setting meeting scheduled for Thursday.
Milan's rally was in part sustained by the strong
performance of oil-services giant Saipem, which gained just over
8% after Goldman Sachs raised its view on the stock to ''buy''
and inserted it into its "conviction buy" list with a 27 euro
target price. Saipem closed at 21.4 euros.
The generally positive investor mood helped generate gains
also for industrials like Fiat (+5.9%) and banks, lead by
Mediobanca (+6.2%) and Intesa Sanpaolo (+4.5%) as well as
insurer Generali (+4.5%).
Not all stocks posted gains Tuesday, with Ansaldo STS
shedding 1.4% after giving out its 2012 results.
Highways operator Atlantia closed 1.4% lower while Banco
Popolare lost 2.7% after issuing a profit warning.
Meanwhile the spread between Italy's 10-year government
bonds and their German counterparts - a key indicator in
investor confidence in Italy - ended the day at 328 basis
points, down from Monday's close at 346 basis points.
However some analysts pointed to a narrowing of the spread
gap with Spain as an indicator that investors in Italian
government paper are beginning to express some worries about the
impact of a protracted political impasse in Italy following last
week's inconclusive general elections.

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