European Shares Inch Higher In Thin Trade

European stocks advanced on Monday amid optimism that curbs to central bank stimulus will be delayed amid signs of a slowdown in global growth due to rampant COVID spread.

Trading volumes were thin with the U.S. stock market closed for a local holiday.

The pan European Stoxx 600 rose half a percent to 474.37 after declining 0.6 percent on Friday. The German DAX gained half a percent, while France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were up around 0.6 percent each.

Tech stocks rallied, with ASML and Prosus climbing 2-3 percent.

Italian defence group Leonardo jumped 2.3 percent on news the company still aims to list its U.S. unit DRS.

BP Plc rose 1.2 percent and Royal Dutch Shell gained 0.6 percent despite a $1 fall in oil prices.

Smiths Group shares rose about 1 percent. The engineering company notified investors of a change in details for senior independent non-executive director Mark Whiteling.

TotalEnergies rose over 1 percent. The French energy giant has signed a $27-billion contract to invest in oil, gas and solar energy production in Iraq.

Supermarket group Carrefour added 1.7 percent after some large shopping centres in the country have had their health pass requirement cancelled in court and the government said the requirement could be relaxed imminently nationwide.

Engineering group Spie tumbled 5.5 percent after it submitted a non-binding offer to buy Equans, the newly created services unit of energy group Engie.

German wind turbine maker Nordex gained 1.7 percent after it unveiled a new N163/6MW-plus turbine for its product portfolio.

In economic releases, German factory orders grew 3.4 percent on a monthly basis, Destatis said – confounding expectations for a decline of 1 percent. However, the pace of growth was weaker than June’s 4.6 percent.

Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence dropped to a score of 19.6 in September from 22.2. That was slightly below expectations for a score of 19.7 and marked the lowest reading since April, 2021.

Elsewhere, a survey showed that the U.K. construction sector grew at the slowest pace since February last month, hit by ongoing material shortages.

The IHS Markit/CIPS construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 55.2, the lowest since February and down from July’s 58.7.

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