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European Equity Benchmarks Close Higher, Led by Mining, Banks and Automotive Stocks

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Last updated: 08/13/2019 12:47:52

12:47 PM EDT, 08/13/2019 (MT Newswires) -- The broad-based major European indices closed higher in Tuesday trading as mining stocks, banks and automotive companies led the market rally.

In economic news, The European Commission has launched an investigation into dumped hot rolled steel from China, Taiwan and Indonesia. The investigation follows a complaint lodged by the European Steel Association (EUROFER) on the grounds that the imports from the countries are made to the European producers. The complaint requests to calculate the dumping of the product and the price of the product, and the price of the product in China and Indonesia.

The Commission has up to eight months to collect evidence, and said the trade defense is part of its broader action looking to protect EU producers from competition of dumped and subsidies products.

Meanwhile consumer prices in Germany were up 1.7% in July compared with July 2018, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The inflation rate, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), was up slightly from June's 1.6%.

Energy product prices increased above average from July 2018 to July 2019, and had an upward effect on the inflation rate, as had been the case in the previous month. The prices of district heating, natural gas and electricity were sharply higher from the year earlier. Motor fuel prices were marginally higher than a year earlier, while heating oil prices decreased slightly in the same period. Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate would have been +1.5% in July.

Compared with June 2019, the consumer price index increased 0.5% in July 2019. In the holiday month of July, prices were up especially for package holidays and air tickets. A considerable price increase was recorded for letter services, which was attributed to new postage for letters and postcards that has been applicable since July 1.

Food prices increased slightly in July on June, and energy prices were slightly down on the previous month. Decreases in motor fuel prices were contrasted by increases in heating oil prices . Consumers benefited from sharply lower prices of clothing and footwear, which was attributed to seasonal price reductions for summer clothes.

Destatis also reported that the selling prices in wholesale trade fell 0.1% in July from the same month last year. In June and in May the annual rates of change had been +0.3% and +1.6%, respectively. From June to July the index fell 0.3%.

And in the UK, the employment rate was estimated at 76.1%, tied for the highest on record since comparable records began in 1971, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%, down from 4.0% a year earlier. The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.7%, also a record low. Estimated annual growth in average weekly earnings for employees in the UK increased to 3.7% for total pay (including bonuses) and 3.9% for regular pay (excluding bonuses). In real terms (after adjusting for inflation), total pay is estimated to have increased 1.8% compared with a year earlier, and regular pay is estimated to have increased 1.9%.

In equities, mining stocks buoyed the FTSE in London as Anglo American, and Antofagasta climbed 2.6% and 2.4% respectively, while Glencore and Rio Tinto rose 2.3% and 1.9%. Packaging company Mondi, and turnaround firm Melrose Industries were up 2.2% each, while investment management firm Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, and construction materials supplier CRH gained 2.1% and 1.8% respectively.

In Frankfurt, pharmaceutical firm Bayer, and postal services provider Deutsche Post led the DAX into positive territory rising 1.9% and 1.8% respectively, followed by health care company Fresenius, and semiconductor company Infineon, which climbed 1.7% each. Automaker Volkswagen, and Deutsche Bank were up 1.4% and 1.3&, while software firm SAP, automaker Daimler, and chemicals company BASF each closed 1.2% higher.

And in Paris, steel and mining company ArcelorMittal led the CAC higher, rising 5.5%, followed by oilfield services company TechnipFMC, and semiconductor company STMicroelectronics, which climbed 3.4% and 3%. Banks also helped lift the market as Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, and Credit Agricole were up 2.7%, 1.8%, and 1.4% respectively.

The FTSE gained 0.33%, the DAX rose 0.60%, and the CAC-40 climbed 0.99%.

Price: 24.79, Change: -0.10, Percent Change: -0.41

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