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European shares lifted by miners’ best week in nearly two years



  • Euro zone recovery gathers pace – survey
  • Morgan Stanley, others now forecast 4% peak for key ECB rate
  • Lufthansa soars after swinging to annual profit
  • Volkswagen’s 2023 sales outlook blows past forecast, shares rise
  • STOXX 600 up 0.9%, gains 1.4% this week

March 3 (Reuters) – European shares rose on Friday as hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve could adopt a measured approach to rate hikes lifted the technology sector, while miners extended their rally on growing bets for a demand recovery in China.

The continent-wide STOXX 600 (.STOXX) rose 0.9%, with rate-sensitive tech stocks (.SX8P) up 1.8%.

Overnight, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic favoured “slow and steady” rate hikes moving forward and a pause by mid- or late-summer.

Policy meetings from both the Fed and the European Central Bank (ECB), and U.S. jobs data are scheduled for the next two weeks, while China’s annual parliament session is on Sunday when Beijing will set its economic goals for the year.

Mining stocks (.SXPP) rose 2.2% with prospects of China’s reopening shoring up demand one theme that played out for much of the week after the country’s data pointed to improving economic conditions.

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The mining index climbed more than 7% this week, its biggest weekly gain since May 2021 and outpacing other major sectors such as defensive plays in utilities . The broader STOXX 600 index gained 1.4% for the week.

Miners rally on China optimism

China’s reopening has also been key for luxury stocks, including LVMH (LVMH.PA) and Kering (PRTP.PA), which have driven much of the year’s gains for European markets along with banks (.SX7P) and miners.

“European consumer stocks are set to benefit from a recovery in European and Chinese spending,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management wrote in a client note.

“With wage growth starting to pick up, inflation past the peak, and less hawkish central banks, we expect disposable income to rise and consumer sentiment to rebound.”

A survey showed the recovery in euro zone business activity gathered pace last month, the latest piece of evidence to suggest the economy will avoid a recession.

Euro zone bond yields hovered near multi-year highs following sticky inflation data on Thursday.

ECB vice president Luis de Guindos warned of persistent inflation, while Governing Council member Pierre Wunsch said the central bank could consider raising its key rate as high as 4% if underlying inflation remains high.

Morgan Stanley and three other investment banks have revised their forecasts for ECB’s terminal rate to 4% as inflationary pressures weigh.

Leading regional equity gains on Friday, Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI) added 1.6% as Europe’s top carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) jumped 10.6% to the top of the index on a surprisingly strong 2023 sales outlook as it expects supply chain issues to ease.

Sweden-based Volvo Car AB (VOLCARb.ST) added 5.8% after sales grew in February.

Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) was up 5.1% after the German airline swung to a “clearly positive result” in 2022.

Reporting by Johann M Cherian, Shreyashi Sanyal and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh Venkateshwaran, Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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