- Europe Stocks Gain on Solid Data; Oil Edges Lower
European stocks advanced as data from Germany and France signaled that the region’s economic recovery remains on track. U.K. assets showed resilience in the wake of a suicide bomb attack.
Technology companies helped spur the Stoxx Europe 600 Index after Nokia Oyj settled a litigation with Apple Inc., while S&P 500 futures extended gains. U.K. equities rose a third day, the pound pared its decline and gilts were steady after a terrorist attack killed at least 22 people at a concert in Manchester. Brazil’s real weakened after S&P Global Ratings said it my cut the country’s credit rating amid a political scandal. Oil dropped, halting a four-day rising streak that took the price of crude above $51 a barrel.
Confidence is building in the European economy, with data on Tuesday confirming the German economy is firing on all cylinders and France’s is gathering momentum, while a euro-area Purchasing Managers’ Index showed manufacturing in the bloc expanded at the fastest pace in more than six years. That’s bolstering the case for investing in the region as political turmoil in Washington rumbles on, diverting attention from President Trump’s spending and tax plans.
“Europe’s growth numbers aren’t knocking the skin off the ball, but they are less volatile and it’s doing relatively well compared to the U.S., U.K. and Japan,” said Bill Blain, head of capital markets at London-based Mint Partners. “More than a few global investors have lost faith in the U.S. recovery and Trump jump.”
The U.S. president in March asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and NSA Director Michael Rogers to publicly deny existence of any collusion between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reported, citing unidentified current and former officials.