May 3, 2019 / 7:46 AM / 2 months ago

European shares rise on strong results, upbeat U.S. jobs data

(Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, recovering from their worst day in six weeks with support from robust jobs data from the United States and strong results from Adidas and HSBC.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.4 percent, rising up to 0.6 percent after strong U.S. jobs data, before trading back at mid-day levels. On the week, the index fell 0.2 percent after two week of gains.

Data on Friday showed that U.S. job growth surged in April and the unemployment rate dropped to a more than 49-year low of 3.6 percent, pointing to sustained strength in economic activity.

“The April (jobs) report allows the U.S. Federal Reserve to remain comfortably on hold for the next few meetings as it awaits more data, particularly on global risks and the inflation outlook,” said analysts at TD Securities in a note.

Investors tend to dump stocks in a rising interest rate environment due to higher cost of capital and better appeal for bonds.

Shares around the globe had fallen on Thursday after the Fed signalled little appetite to adjust interest rates anytime soon, dampening hopes of a rate cut among market participants.

Gains of nearly 2 percent by London-listed shares of HSBC Holdings after the lender beat quarterly profit estimates, was the biggest boost to the pan-region index.

French lender Societe Generale also rose as its capital buffer was stronger than expected, helping investors shrug off a decline in quarterly net profit.

The personal and household goods sector rose 1.2 percent. Adidas jumped almost 10 percent to hit a record high after the sportswear maker’s quarterly net profit rose.

“Not many European stocks are racking up all-time highs, and that underlines the bullish sentiment,” said David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets, London.

Basic resources stocks gained 1.4 percent as copper prices rebounded.

Fiat Chrysler jumped 4.6 percent after the carmaker said new U.S. pickup truck models would help the automaker achieve its 2019 profit targets and offset a weak first quarter.

Meanwhile, Air France-KLM tumbled 5.5 percent as the Franco-Dutch group blamed higher fuel costs and tough price competition for its first-quarter loss.

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

Reinsurer Swiss Re AG slid 3 percent to be one of the biggest drags on STOXX 600 on an unexpected fall in quarterly net profit.

A more than 7 percent fall by German telecoms group Freenet was the worst on the broader index after UBS downgraded the stock’s rating to ‘sell’.

(Graphic - YTD Comparison between select European/Eurozone stock indexes as at 0808 GMT, May 3, 2019, tmsnrt.rs/2Ljy7Uq)

Reporting by Aaron Saldanha, Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Edmund Blair

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