luxury brands benefit At 1507 GMT, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was trading 0.1% down on the day but still not far away from the near 12-week high of 391.09 that was recorded last week. The blue-chip Euro Stoxx 50 was deeper in losses, being down by 0.4%.
The Spanish IBEX 35 traded 1.2% lower as European markets were getting near the day’s close, performing the worst among major blue-chip indices in Europe. Carles Puigdemont, the president of the government of Catalonia, is scheduled to address the Catalan parliament at 1600 GMT. The Spanish government is worried that the regional parliament will proceed with a unilateral declaration of independence.
Analysts at UBS don’t expect significant underperformance by Spanish stocks, saying that the IBEX’s sizable declines as of late are attributed to the fact it’s heavily weighted towards financials, telecoms and utilities which are more sensitive to issues of domestic nature.
The UK’s FTSE 100 was 0.3% higher, while the German DAX and CAC 40 traded lower by 0.3% and 0.1% respectively.
French-based LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (known as simply LVMH – up 2.0%), the world’ biggest luxury groupwas one of the best performing stocks within the CAC 40 after yesterday reporting revenue growth that beat analysts’ expectations. UK-based and LVMH rival, Burberry (up 1.6%), made the list of top performers within the FTSE as market participants viewed LVMH’s results as setting the scene for more positive results from the sector overall. Also benefitting were Moncler (up 2.1%), Kering (the Gucci owner – up 2.0%), Christian Dior (up 1.7%) and Hermes (up 1.1%).
Retailer Carrefour (up 2.2%) was performing strongly to lead gains within the CAC 40 after Natixis upgraded the company to “buy” from “neutral”.
In the US, the Dow Jones was 0.2% higher, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were both up by 0.1%. They all touched intra-day record highs.
Retail giant Wal-Mart (up 4.45%) said it would proceed with a share buy-back and forecast online sales in the US would rise by about 40 percent during the next fiscal year. Nvidia (up 2.1%) was on a positive footing after unveiling the first computer chips for developing fully autonomous vehicles and adding it has customers working on a new class of driverless vehicles. Honeywell was 0.3% down after announcing a corporate makeover. Energy stocks are also in focus on the back of rising oil prices.
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