January 4, 2019 / 8:32 AM / 6 months ago

European shares post best day since June 2016

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares posted their biggest daily gain since June 2016 as buoyant U.S. job data and hopes of better Sino/U.S. trade relations boosted shares after a gloomy week during which a rare revenue warning from Apple caused havoc.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also reassured investors concerned about a U.S. economic slowdown, saying the central bank would be sensitive to the downside risks currently priced in the market.

Europe’s STOXX 600 rose 2.8 percent, with strong gains across the region’s bourses.

“A solid set of job numbers and some comfortable words from the chairman of the Federal Reserve have been just the ticket to get markets into bullish mode”, said IG analyst Chris Beauchamp.

Stocks sensitive to trade tensions led the gains.

Mining companies .SXPP jumped 5.4 percent, the top gainer as copper prices recovered on news of new trade talks between China and the United States.

Autos .SXAP, which suffered in 2018 from the trade dispute, jumped 4.5 percent.

Oil stocks .SXEP also rallied close to 3 percent, getting a lift from rising oil prices and a survey showing China’s services sector expanded in December.

Outside trade-related moves, Bayer (BAYGn.DE) shares climbed 6.7 percent. A ruling by a U.S. judge could restrict evidence favouring the plaintiffs in lawsuits alleging Bayer’s glyphosate-based weed killer causes cancer.

Tech stocks .SX8P, which plunged 4 percent after Apple’s revenue warning, rose 2.85 percent.

Chipmaker AMS (AMS.S), which provides the facial recognition technology used in the latest iPhone, rose 4 percent - a modest recovery after Thursday’s 23 percent plunge.

ProsiebenSat 1 (PSMGn.DE) shares fell 3.4 percent after Morgan Stanley cut its price target on the stock, in a negative note on European TV highlighting rising competitive pressure from subscription video on demand platforms.

As the fourth-quarter results season approaches, analysts remain pessimistic about European earnings. They have cut earnings forecasts continuously since September 2018.

Edward Park, deputy chief investment officer at Brooks Macdonald, said he was slightly “overweight” on equities, expecting an economic slowdown but not a contraction.

“If we’re going to see moderate growth in 2019 but nothing too exciting, are market participants willing to be outside risk assets for that entire time?”

GRAPHICS: Analysts keep cutting European earnings estimates January 4 - tmsnrt.rs/2GVjq85

Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by Larry King and Mark Potter

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