European Shares Close Higher as US Data Cancels Out Ukraine

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European Shares Close Higher as US Data Cancels Out Ukraine

European stocks recorded a weekly climb as US data that beat estimates boosted investor confidence in the course of economic recovery, canceling out effects of escalating tension in eastern Ukraine.

UniCredit SpA advanced 4% and Banco Popolare jumped 6.6% after Berenberg Bank said a sustained recovery of the European economy will benefit Italian banks the most. Tesco Plc added 3.1% after posting better-than-estimated trading profits.

Gas and oil firms performed the best among industry groups led by Afren Plc. ASML Holding NV lost 7% after announcing second-quarter sales estimates that were below analysts’ projections.

The Europe Stoxx 600 Index gained 1.1% to hit 332.43 in the week. The benchmark Index has soared in the four of the last five weeks and gained 1.3% year-to-date.

“US data is fine. Housing is a bit soft but all the other indicators are tracking quite well. The improvement looks well established, and that will help U.S. equity markets and spill over into European markets,” James Buckley of London-based Baring Asset Management Ltd told Bloomberg.

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National blue-chip gauges added in 11 of the 18 Western Europe markets. A 1% increase was posted in both the FTSE 100 of UK and Germany’s DAX. CAC 40 of France surged 1.5%. Markets closed on April 18 for Easter holidays and won’t open until Tuesday.

US data this week indicated that retail sales and factory output in the world’s largest economy soared in March, beating estimates. Fewer Americans than anticipated claimed jobless benefits for the first time. A separate report showed that there was less-than-expected growth in house construction.

The shares advanced this week despite the prospects of an escalating military conflict in Ukraine.

The Sydney Morning Herald quotes market analyst Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets as saying that markets remained untroubled by comments of Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country had the right to deploy its military in foreign territories. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com