European stocks were seeing modest gains on Friday after data showed Germany’s factory orders rebounded at a stronger-than-expected pace in August, reflecting the robust expansion in demand for computing, electronic and optical products.
Factory orders registered a monthly growth of 3.9 percent, in contrast to the 11.3 percent decrease in July, Destatis reported.
Investors shrugged off survey data from the Lloyds Bank subsidiary Halifax and S&P Global showing that U.K. house prices fell for the sixth straight month in September as higher interest rates weighed on mortgage affordability.
House prices slid 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in September. This was the sixth straight month of decline but markedly slower than the 1.8 percent fall in August.
Eurozone bond yields edged up slightly and the euro was heading for a record twelfth week of declines against the dollar as investors waited for the latest U.S. employment report later in the day, which is expected to show a slowdown in hiring last month.
European Central Bank board member Isabel Schnabel said earlier today that interest rates may need to rise again if needed to tame consumer prices. The ECB announces its rate decision on Oct. 26.
The pan European STOXX 600 was up 0.4 percent at 442.84 after gaining 0.3 percent on Thursday.
The German DAX rose half a percent, France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE was up 0.2 percent.
Banks traded higher, with Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas rising 1-2 percent.
Philips shares plunged nearly 9 percent after the U.S. FDA said it is not satisfied with how the Dutch health care technology company handled a major product recall.
Payment services provider Adyen rallied 3.1 percent after investment firm TD Cowen started coverage of the stocks with a “market perform” rating.
Swedish commercial vehicle major AB Volvo rose about 1 percent and French auto major Renault was marginally higher after an announcement that they are forming a new company to manage the development of an all-new generation of electrified vans.
GSK edged up slightly in London after the drug maker agreed to sell 270 million shares in its former consumer unit Haleon at a price of 328 pence per share, raising gross proceeds of around 885.6 million pounds. Shares of the latter were down 1 percent.
De La Rue plc, a provider of secure digital, physical, surety, and control solutions, jumped 4.5 percent after saying it expects adjusted operating profit for the first half to be slightly ahead of its prior view of breakeven.
Pub operator J D Wetherspoon tumbled 4.4 percent despite returning to annual profit for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic three years ago.
Aviva soared almost 10 percent. The Times newspaper reported that at least two potential suitors are looking for a possible takeover of the insurance company.
Metro Bank surged 7.3 percent on reports that it has begun talks to sell a £3bn chunk of its mortgage book.
Shell added 1 percent after the oil and gas major updated its integrated gas production forecast for the third-quarter of 2023.
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