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Europe open: Shares rebound on positive earnings outlooks

Wed 21 April 2021 08:08 | A A A

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7043.61 | Positive 80.28 (1.15%)
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(Sharecast News) - European stocks rebounded from Tuesday's pummelling as investors were cheered by a positive earnings update from Heineken and semiconductor maker ASML.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.47% in early deals, after closing almost 2% lower in the previous session on fears over the Indian variant of Covid-19. All major regional bourses were higher.

UK inflation rose to 0.7% in March as the cost of fuel and clothing rose, setting the scene for sharper increases later in 2021.

Consumer price inflation increased from an annual rate of 0.4% the previous month and was slightly below the 0.8% average forecast in a Reuters poll.

Rising fuel and clothing prices were partly offset by food prices that were lower than a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said.

"Though it wouldn't have been a shock to see a UK CPI reading of 0.7% cause further losses, especially compared to the 0.4% posted the month prior, the fact it fell short of the 0.8% forecast helped nip any inflationary pressure panic in the bud," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

"Instead, the FTSE rose 0.8%, pushing back above 6,900 after shrinking to a two-week low on Tuesday evening."

"Hanging over the markets is the question of the India Covid variant, or variants. The travel-related concerns, and subsequent heavy losses, sparked on Tuesday are still there. Investors are just choosing to ignore them, something that could easily change before the day is over."

ASML shares led the index, up 4.55% after the company raised its full-year sales forecast, citing strong demand amid a global computer chip shortage.

Smaller rival ASM International rose 4.2% on forecasting a rise in second-quarter orders.

Heineken shares surged after its trading update pointed to better-than-expected beer volumes for the first quarter.

Shares in pharmaceutical company Hikma jumped as the company said it had resumed the launch of its generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's asthma Advair Diskus in the US following approval from US Food and Drug Administration.

Italian football giant Juventus saw its shares plunge 10% after six English clubs who had pledged to join the proposed European super league pulled out after a storm of protest from supporters.

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