Chinese stimulus hopes, chip stocks push European shares higher

Reuters Aug 16 | Updated on August 16, 2019 Published on August 16, 2019

File Photo   -  Bloomberg

European shares churned higher on Friday, boosted by positive investor sentiment after China hinted of plans to spur economic growth while chipmaker stocks in the region propped up markets, helped by solid earnings news from US counterparts.

China's state planner said it will roll out a plan to boost disposable income this year and in 2020 to encourage consumption as the economy slows.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was 1.1 per cent higher by 0859 GMT, with the export-reliant DAX index out-performing.

Markets were jarred earlier after London's FTSE 100 had a delayed open due to a technical glitch. But the index climbed 0.7 per cent higher, boosted by financials.

European shares staged a comeback from six-month lows hit during the previous session, after China warned of retaliation against US tariffs, heightening fears of the continued impact of their trade war on global growth.

However, the benchmark index was still on pace to log a third straight week of losses as worries of a global recession kept investors on edge, largely because of the trade drama.

“The real kind of fear that markets were feeling seems to have somewhat disappeared, but if you look at how much ground has been lost in the last couple of days, it's very much down in the week,” CMC Markets analyst David Madden said.

Central banks from major economies around the world including Australia, New Zealand and India have cut borrowing costs to spur economic growth with market participants expecting the European Central Bank to step in line with them.

Leading the charge on the STOXX 600 was a rally in semiconductor companies, which pushed the technology sector up 1.4 per cent - with AMS, Infineon Tech and STMicroelectronics making substantial gains.

Better-than-expected results from gaming chip maker Nvidia and chip gear maker Applied Materials overnight reinforced the rally.

Italy's blue-chip index rose 1.2 per cent, catching up with its peers after a mid-week holiday on Thursday.

Speciality chemicals company IMCD slumped 18 per cent to the bottom of the STOXX 600, after it reported weaker-than-expected organic sales in the second quarter.

Published on August 16, 2019
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