(Bloomberg) -- European stocks rose as investors responded to strong earnings and showed an appetite for riskier assets. US equity futures were steady, while the dollar slipped.
Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index climbed for a fourth day, with media and telecoms stocks leading the gains. Standard Chartered Plc rose as the emerging-markets focused lender announced a buyback and forecast higher returns. British Gas owner Centrica Plc rallied after its record profit.
France’s CAC 40 index headed toward a record close for the first time in more than a year, powered by renewed strength in luxury stocks thanks to China’s reopening from Covid lockdowns as well as robust earnings. Pernod Ricard SA jumped after the French spirits company’s results comfortably beat expectations and it announced a buyback of its own.
Contracts for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were almost flat, after the two US benchmarks advanced on Wednesday. Shopify Inc. dropped as much as 9.7% in premarket trading after the cloud-based commerce platform’s first-quarter revenue forecast was weaker than expected. Cisco Systems Inc. gained after the communications equipment company raised its full-year forecast
The greenback fell against all G-10 currencies while the yen strengthened. Treasuries rose, with the benchmark 10-year yield slipping after increasing by six basis points on Wednesday.
Stock investors have taken comfort from upbeat earnings reports and evidence of resilience in the economy combined with signs that inflation, even if it remains too high, is at least receding. After US retail sales in January jumped by the most in almost two years and homebuilder sentiment rose in February, jobless claims and producer inflation figures due later Thursday will provide the latest readings for Federal Reserve policymakers deciding on the path of rate hikes.
“Once again, equity markets are managing to pick and choose strands of data and narrative which support the predilection for bullishness,” said James Athey, investment director at Abrdn.
UBS Global Wealth Management strategists said that although they expect an inflection point in monetary policy, inflation and market sentiment in 2023, it’s still too early to forecast a dovish pivot from the Fed. Chief Investment Officer Mark Haefele wrote in a note that “certain measures of inflation are moving in the wrong direction,” while a strong labor market is adding to concerns that wage growth will remain very high.
The rally in risk assets helped propel higher some of the most speculative corners of the market. A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. benchmark of unprofitable tech companies rose 4.4% and is up almost 30% this year.
Bitcoin rose further after jumping 8.7% Wednesday, the most in three months, edging closer to the $25,000 level and sparking gains in cryptocurrency-exposed stocks in New York premarket trading.
“Everybody is trying to figure out whether this is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime soft landing or if it’s just taking longer before we get a panic recession,” Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust, said in an interview. “That’s why you’re seeing a lot of divergence between bulls and bears.”
Oil dropped following recent data showing swelling US inventories. Gold was little changed.
In other corporate news, Adani Group is in talks with potential investors about a bond offering, according to people familiar with the matter.
- US jobless claims, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester speaks at Global Interdependence Center event Thursday
- France CPI, Russia GDP Friday
Some of the main moves in markets:
- The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6% as of 10:30 a.m. London time
- S&P 500 futures were little changed
- Nasdaq 100 futures were little changed
- Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.9%
- The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.6%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%
- The euro rose 0.2% to $1.0710
- The Japanese yen rose 0.2% to 133.83 per dollar
- The offshore yuan was little changed at 6.8637 per dollar
- The British pound rose 0.3% to $1.2064
- Bitcoin rose 1.9% to $24,642.1
- Ether rose 1.5% to $1,690.27
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined two basis points to 3.78%
- Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at 2.47%
- Britain’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 3.48%
- Brent crude fell 0.7% to $84.81 a barrel
- Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,837.92 an ounce