European Shares Tread Water Ahead of Key Data, Fed
European stock markets traded cautiously on Monday after posting their first weekly loss in eight, with automakers taking a hit after the Financial Times reported that Volkswagen had warned managers to prepare for a bigger output hit in the second quarter due to an ongoing chip shortage. At the same time, rising COVID-19 cases in some parts of the world added to worries, while investors await a batch of economic data, including German business confidence later today and GDP figures for Europe and the US during the week, as well as the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement on Wednesday. On the corporate front, Philips reported a big jump in quarterly profit and raised its expectations for 2021. Pearson and Michelin are also due to report today. The DAX 30 was slightly higher at 15,290; the FTSE 100 and the CAC 40 lost 0.1%, while the FTSE MIB and IBEX 35 hovered near the flat line.
Japanese Shares Close Higher
The Nikkei 225 added 105.6 points or 0.36% to 29126.23 on Monday following declines of 2.26% in the prior week. Risk appetite was buoyed by the flow of strong US economic data, while travel-related stocks bounced back from recent losses. Among individual stocks, ANA Holdings jumped 5.78% after the airline said its full-year operating loss would be smaller than previously forecast. Railway companies also soared, with Central, West and East Japan Railway up 4.67%, 5.23% and 3.44% respectively. In local news, Japan on Friday declared states of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, and two other prefectures, amid a surge of local virus infections. Investors now anticipate the BoJ’s monetary policy decision and the US FOMC meeting later this week. On the data front, Japan’s leading index hit its highest in over 2 years in February, while the coincident index was revised higher to 89.9 from a flash reading of 89.0.
Stocks in Finland Hit All-time High
OMX Helsinki 25 increased to an all-time high of 5168