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European Shares Close Higher Supported by Eurozone Sentiment Data, US Budget Reports

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Last updated: 05/28/2021 12:14:44

12:14 PM EDT, 05/28/2021 (MT Newswires) -- European stocks ended higher Friday, with investors focusing on positive eurozone sentiment and talk that the Biden Administration plans a $6 trillion budget for the next fiscal year.

The French CAC ended up 0.8%, the European STOXX 600 closed up 0.6% and the Swiss Market Index finished up 0.8%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 ended up 0.7% and the FTSE 100 closed marginally higher.

The euro area's economic confidence grew to 114.5 in May from a revised 110.5 in April, data from the European Commission showed. The latest reading exceeded the consensus estimate of 112.1. It also went above its long-term average and pre-pandemic level, nearing its December 2017 peak.

Meanwhile, the eurozone's final consumer confidence index improved to -5.1 in May, in line with expectations, from a revised -8.1 in April, while services confidence continued its growth to 11.3 in May from a revised 2.2 in April, surpassing the consensus estimate of 7.5.

On the vaccines front, the human medicines committee of the European Medicines Agency recommended the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer (PFE.F) and BioNTech (22UA.F) in children ages 12 to 15. Pfizer and BioNTech were up 0.4% and 2.7%, respectively.

In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approved the use of the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.F) COVID-19 single-dose vaccine in Wales, England and Scotland. Johnson & Johnson shares rose 1.2%.

Also among drugmakers, AstraZeneca's (AZN.L, AZN.ST) in-demand lung cancer medicine Tagrisso secured another regulatory approval in the EU, making it eligible to treat an additional patient population in a region where a fifth of the world's lung cancer patients are diagnosed. AstraZeneca ended down 0.7%.

Elsewhere, Nissan (NISA.F) is said to be preparing a 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) investment in new battery plants in Japan and the UK under a new partnership with a China-based battery maker, Nikkei reported. The plants, to be operated by Envision AESC, are expected begin production in 2024 with an estimated aggregate capacity to power 700,000 electric vehicles a year, with production to supply the Renault (RNO.PA)-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Nissan shares were up 0.9%.

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