European Equity Benchmarks Close Higher; Media, Automotive Stocks Carry Markets

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The broad-based major European indices closed higher in Friday’s trading session, as media companies, automotives and home builders carried the markets.

In economic news, Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.5% in September, which is flat compared to August, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in September (3.9%, compared with 4.0% in August), followed by food, alcohol and tobacco (1.9%, compared with 1.4% in August), services (1.5%, compared with 1.6% in August) and non-energy industrial goods (0.5%, flat compared with August).

In the U.K., GDP growth in volume terms increased 1.5% in Q2 from the same quarter a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics ( ONS ). Growth on this basis slowed slightly when compared with the 1.8% growth seen between Q1 2016 and Q1 1 2017. GDP in volume terms was estimated to have increased by 0.3% between Q1 and Q2 2017, unrevised from the second estimate of GDP.

Meanwhile, the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said that U.K. interest rates will rise in the “relatively near term,” reported the BBC. Carney said it was necessary for the bank to “ease its foot off the accelerator.” The Bank’s monetary policy committee will meet next on Nov. 2 to discuss changing interest rates. Carney added that although overall lending to consumers had fallen sharply since the financial crisis, there was a danger from “frothy” growth in some areas of household borrowing.

In Germany, roughly 44.3 million German residents were in employment in August, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Compared with August 2016, the number of employed increased by 687,000 or 1.6%. In July, the year-on-year change rate had also been 1.6%. Roughly 1.6 million people were unemployed in August, 171,000 fewer than a year earlier.

Destatis also reported that turnover in retail trade in August was in real terms 2.8%, and in nominal terms 4.7% larger than that in August 2016. Compared with the previous year, turnover in retail trade was 3.0% in the first eight months of 2017 in real terms, and 4.8% in nominal terms larger than in in the same period the previous year.

In France, the Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) reported that the consumer price index ( CPI ) rose 1% in September, compared to the same month last year. INSEE estimated the increase in year-on-year inflation was due to an acceleration in food prices and in energy prices, and also a lesser drop in manufactured product prices. Services prices were also down slightly.

In equities, broadcaster ITV led the FTSE higher in London, rising 3.6%, followed by mining companies Anglo American, and Antofagasta, which climbed 2.6% and 2.2% respectively. Home builders Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey were up 2.1% and 1.9%, while construction materials supplier CRH also closed 1.9% higher.

In Frankfurt, electric services company E.ON led the DAX into positive territory, rising 2.3%, followed by pharmaceutical firm Bayer, and media company Prosiebensat 1 Media which climbed 2.1% and 2% respectively. Deutsche Bank was up 1.8%, while footwear and apparel company Adidas, and automaker BMW each closed 1.7% higher.

And in Paris, media company Vivendi helped boost the CAC higher, rising 2.9%, followed by automobile manufacturer Peugeot, and ophthalmic optics company Essilor International, which were up 1.5% and 1.4%. Bank Societe Generale, and commercial real estate company Unibail Rodamco each gained 1.3%, while auto parts supplier Valeo and automaker Renault each closed 1.2% higher.

The FTSE gained 0.68%, the DAX rose 0.98%, and the CAC-40 increased 0.68%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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