Off The Wire
European stocks lifted by U.S. stimulus hopes, China data
(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Investors bet on bigger fiscal package by Joe Biden
* China reports better-than-expected export growth
* PSA rises on sales recovery in the second half of 2020 (Adds comment, updates prices)
Jan 14 (Reuters) - European shares rose for a third straight session on Thursday, as hopes of a large stimulus under incoming U.S. President Joe Biden and upbeat Chinese export data boosted sentiment.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4%, with automakers, travel and mining stocks making it to the top gainers’ list.
Germany’s DAX index rose 0.4% after preliminary data showed Europe’s largest economy shrank by a smaller-than-expected 5.0% in 2020 as a strong state response helped limit the havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global markets extended gains after CNN reported that Biden could spend a more than expected $2 trillion in stimulus. Biden said he would unveil the plan on Thursday.
Also adding to the cheer, data showed Chinese exports grew more than expected in December, as coronavirus disruptions around the world fuelled demand for Chinese goods.
“There’s a feeling that we’ll get stimulus much bigger than expected, we won’t see any negative moves from central banks, particularly the Federal Reserve, and economic data globally might be picking up ... all that’s helping,” said Edward Park, chief investment officer at Brooks Macdonald.
European chipmakers received a boost after Taiwan’s TSMC posted a record high quarterly profit due to demand for devices requiring high-end chips.
Semiconductor equipment makers ASMI jumped 5.7% and ASML rose 2.7%.
The wider tech index was up 1.2%, with Dutch tech investor Prosus up nearly 5% on reports the Trump administration has scrapped plans to blacklist Chinese tech giants, including Tencent.
French carmaker PSA rose 4.0% after saying its sales in Europe recovered in the second half of 2020 and were back to growth in the fourth quarter.
Fiat Chrysler jumped 4.3%, but Renault slipped 2.7% after it pledged more cost cuts and to focus on a smaller number of profitable models - which analysts found to be “conservative.”
Italy’s FTSE MIB lagged, with banks taking a hit after former premier Matteo Renzi pulled his small party out of government, stripping the ruling coalition of its parliamentary majority and triggering political chaos.
Carrefour fell 6.6% after the French government raised concerns about its takeover by Canadian convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard.
Swiss plumbing supplies maker Geberit dropped 3.3% after it revealed a hit to sales from the surge in value of the Swiss franc during 2020. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)