European Shares Cautiously Higher In Despite Weak French, German Data

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BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (Alliance News) - European stocks were modestly higher on Thursday as investors digested merger and acquisition news and awaited further details on progress towards US tax reform.

The dollar advanced against its peers, bolstered by reports that the US Congress is on track to approve legislation that would avert a partial government shutdown over the weekend.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.3% at 387.40 in late opening deals after declining 0.1% the previous day.

The German DAX was rising half a percent, France's CAC 40 index was moving up 0.3% and the UK's FTSE 100 was up 0.2%.

French telecommunications firm Orange rallied 2%. The company targets growth in adjusted EBITDA of around 2% in 2017, followed by an acceleration of the growth rate in 2018 and continued growth in 2019 and 2020.

Shares of RM jumped around 15% in London after the educational ICT and resources group said it expects results for the financial year ended November 30, 2017 to be ahead of expectations.

Ladbrokes Coral shares surged nearly 25% after bookmaker GVC Holdings offered to buy the gambling giant for GBP3.9 billion.

German energy firm Uniper lost 1% despite confirming its earnings outlook for the current year and promising higher dividend next year.

Furniture retailer Steinhoff slumped 30% to extend Wednesday's slump, hit by news of the launch of an investigation into accounting irregularities.

In economic releases, French trade deficit widened to EUR5.0 billion in October from EUR4.6 billion in September, the customs office reported. The French current account deficit narrowed to EUR2.2 billion in October from EUR3.3 billion in September.

German industrial production fell 1.4% month-on-month in October, following a revised 0.9% drop in September, data from Destatis showed. Production was forecast to rebound 0.9%.

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