European shares set longest winning streak since 2019 on recovery optimism

(Reuters) -European shares rose for an eighth straight session as optimism around a speedy economic recovery across the region lifted industrial stocks, while technology shares tracked an overnight jump in their U.S. peers.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, June 14, 2021. REUTERS/Staff/File photo

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.4% in its longest winning streak in more than two years as investors also bet on global central banks keeping the stimulus taps open.

Focus this week will be on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting starting Tuesday, where investors will be looking for insight on whether the central bank has begun discussing tapering bond purchases and if policymakers are concerned about rising inflation.

“We don’t expect officials to rush into taking a decision now, (but) it would be interesting to see whether there will be a discussion around the matter, and if so, whether we will get any hints over a potential desired pace of withdrawal,” said Charalambos Pissouros, a senior market analyst at JFD Group.

“A fast pace may suggest that Fed officials do not see the surge in inflation as transitory as they did in the past and may hurt equities.”

The benchmark STOXX 600 has scaled record highs in recent weeks, following dovish signals from the European Central Bank regarding its stance on rising inflation.

Germany’s DAX hovered near all-time highs as data showed consumer prices rose 0.5% month-on-month in May, in line with economists’ expectations.

Investors will also be looking for inflation data from across the euro zone later this week. On Tuesday, government bond yields in the bloc traded in narrow ranges, with investors awaiting the first bond issuance backing the EU recovery fund.

European industrial stocks, which are poised to benefit from an economic rebound, were up 0.9%, while technology shares rose about 1% after the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended Monday at a record high.

London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4% as the UK posted a record jump in the number of employees on company payrolls in May as COVID-19 restrictions eased. [.L]

In company news, Sweden’s H&M, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, posted a jump in sales in the three months through May, while British housebuilder Bellway said it expected demand for new homes to remain robust.

Shares of both companies, however, fell 0.8% and 0.4%, respectively.

Non-Standard Finance slumped 9.5% as the British subprime lender said it was seeking to raise around 80 million pounds ($112.98 million) potentially through a share sale.

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