Amsterdam (AFN) – Strong growth numbers for the Chinese economy created a positive atmosphere in European stock markets on Friday. Additionally, automakers have been in the spotlight. Mercedes-Benz Daimler’s parent company reported higher-than-expected earnings, while Volkswagen sold more cars in the first quarter than the previous year. European car sales were also better than expected in the first three months.
Daimler shares rose 2.7 percent in Frankfurt. The Mercedes-Benz owner mainly benefited from strong sales in China in the first quarter. Trade union ACEA also reported that auto sales rose in the last quarter thanks to a strong recovery in March. Volkswagen (plus 3 percent) recorded car sales growth of one-fifth compared to last year. The company scored special points in China and the United States.
Other auto makers also rose. In Paris, Renault shares jumped 2.4 percent. Stellantis, owner of brands such as Fiat, Citroën and Peugeot, won 1.5%.
Other European companies have also opened books. For example, German meal box delivery company HelloFresh announced that sales and profits are much better than expected. The stake is placed 3 percent higher in Frankfurt. L’Oréal lost nearly 2 percent in Paris. The cosmetics group has benefited from strong demand from Chinese consumers. Investors took some profit from that.
The AEX index at Beursplein 5 closed 0.4 percent higher at 716.80 points. The MedCap index rose 0.5 percent to 1,041.36 points. Indexes in Frankfurt, Paris and London rose to 1.3 percent.
The flagship of AEX was AkzoNobel. The paint maker rose 3.7 percent after strong quarterly numbers from its industry peer, PPG. Steel involved, ArcelorMittal, was also the leader, with an increase of 3.3 percent. Supermarket company Ahold Delhaize (minus 1.3 percent) and KPN Communications Group (minus 2.7 percent) traded on a dividend basis.
At MidKap, industrial supplier Aalberts was the biggest climber with an increase of 2.8 percent. Air France-KLM followed suit (plus 2.2 percent). Earlier, Beter Bed saw its earnings evaporate and closed 2.7 percent lower. The company’s sales were lagging behind due to store closures, but online sales were strong and the order book was much fuller than it was a year ago.
The euro was at $ 1.1967, compared to $ 1.1962 the previous day. A barrel of US oil is 0.4 percent cheaper at $ 63.21. Brent crude fell 0.2 percent to $ 66.82 a barrel.
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