EUROPE MARKETS: DAX Heads For New Record, As Euro Slide Helps Exporters

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Disappointing financial updates hit Zalando, others

Continue Reading Below

European stocks gained Wednesday, as falls in the euro and the pound helped exporters and offset disappointing financial updates from companies such as Zalando.

Where indexes are trading: The Stoxx Europe 600 index posted a 0.2% rise to reach 391.06, with consumer goods and health care shares leading the way. But oil and gas and telecom shares traded lower. On Tuesday, the pan-European benchmark fell 0.3% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-slip-as-auto-shares-fall-credit-suisse-climbs-2017-10-17).

Germany's DAX 30 index picked up 0.3% to 13,027.29, on course for a new record closing high. In London, the FTSE 100 rose 0.3% to 7,538.43.

France's CAC 40 index was up 0.2% to 5,370.72, while Spain's IBEX 35 index lost 0.4% to hit 10,181.00.

Currency effects: The exporter-heavy German and U.K. indexes logged gains as the both the euro and the pound lost ground against the dollar. Pullbacks in those currencies can help lift shares of exporters, as they make most of their earnings overseas.

Continue Reading Below

Among big exporters, shares of auto makers Volkswagen AG (VOW.XE) and BMW (BMW.XE) picked up 0.7% and educational materials publisher Pearson PLC (PSON.LN) popped up 1.7%.

The pound traded below $1.32, while the euro bought less than $1.18.

What analysts are saying: "Equities in the U.K. and Europe have been mostly frozen in the same place this week, but the repeated attempts to break higher suggest that the next move will be up, rather than some cataclysmic late-October selloff." -- Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG

The London benchmark's rise comes "thanks to GBP turning back lower amid fresh USD strength overnight to help the FTSE's international contingent. This helps offset a mixed finish on Wall St. (more record for S&P and Dow, Nasdaq just offside) and a lackluster performance from Asia overnight." -- Accendo Markets analysts in a early Wednesday note

Stock movers: Zalando SE shares (ZAL.XE) slid 1%. The German online fashion retailer said it may post a third-quarter pretax loss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zalando-warns-on-loss-amid-investments-2017-10-18) as it continues to invest in technology and infrastructure.

Akzo Nobel NV shares (AKZOY) dropped 1.7%. The paint and specialty chemicals company posted a 13% drop in third-quarter earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/akzo-nobel-earnings-fall-13-on-headwinds-fx-hit-2017-10-18), citing industry headwinds and unfavorable foreign-exchange conditions.

Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (RB.LN) shares shed 0.5%. The consumer products company behind brands such as Airwick and Scholl said it will split its operations into two divisions (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/reckitt-benckiser-to-overhaul-units-as-sales-slow-2017-10-18) -- consumer health and hygiene -- after a string of disappointing earnings and a sales slowdown.

Shares of ASML Holding NV (ASML.AE) added 0.4% after the Dutch semiconductor maker said third-quarter profit rose 35% on the back of strong sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asml-profit-up-35-on-strong-sales-2017-10-18).

Off the Stoxx 600, FlyBe Group PLC (FLYB.LN) dropped 14% after the airline said higher-than-expected maintenance costs will put pressure on profit.

Economic data: U.K. workers' inflation-adjusted wages fell for the sixth consecutive month (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-real-wages-fall-for-6th-month-in-a-row-2017-10-18) in August, dropping 0.4% even as the U.K. unemployment rate remained at 4.3%, the lowest in more than 40 years.

ECB reprieve: Germany's constitutional court threw out a cease-and-desist request that could have halted the European Central Bank's giant bond-buying program, offering some comfort to the bank's policy makers as they prepare to extend the purchases into 2018.

The yield on the 10-year German bund came off session lows and was up 2 basis points at 0.378%, according to Tradeweb.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 05:47 ET (09:47 GMT)