European shares rise on real estate boost, Kongsberg shines

By Shubham Batra and Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) – European shares advanced on Wednesday amid broad-based gains and upbeat corporate updates while investors digested more comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s second day of testimony.

The pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.9%, buoyed by a 2.1% rise in real estate shares.

French stocks were also up nearly 0.9% after falling in the previous session, as markets assessed the turbulent political situation following Sunday’s legislative election.

Supporting equities, yield on government bonds across the euro zone fell in a sign of investors unwinding the political risk premium they had attached to the countries before the France’s parliamentary runoff vote. [GVD/EUR]

Meanwhile, Powell said on his second day of congressional testimony he was not ready to conclude that inflation is moving sustainably down to 2% though he had “some confidence of that”.

Markets are now awaiting June inflation data out of the U.S. and Germany due on Thursday to gauge the timing of potential interest rate cuts.

Focus is also on quarterly earnings in the region. Deutsche Bank analysts said in a note: “We expect both earnings and sales to have increased slightly in Q2, marking the first positive y-o-y growth rate since Q1 2023.”

Norwegian aerospace and defence company Kongsberg Gruppen climbed 11% to the top of the benchmark index after reporting strong revenue growth, improved margins and a growing order backlog in the second quarter.

On the other hand, UK’s Barratt Developments slipped 1.2% as the homebuilder forecast a fall of up to 7% in its home-building targets for fiscal year 2025, citing high mortgage rates and broader economic concerns.

“Higher interest rates have caused the UK housing market to stall over the last couple of years, and although mortgage demand looks to be gradually picking up, the ambitious targets set by the new government could be exactly what is required to get the market moving,” said Mark Crouch, analyst at investment platform eToro.

Online takeaway food firm Delivery Hero jumped 9.2% after delivery app Baemin, backed by the German group, said it would raise its commission fee for South Korean restaurants.

Travis Perkins gained 7.1% after the British construction materials firm named Pete Redfern as its new CEO, succeeding Nick Roberts who will step down on Sept. 16 after five years at the helm.

Enagas rose 6.2% after the Spanish grid operator agreed to sell its 30.2% stake in Tallgrass Energy to U.S. fund Blackstone for $1.1 billion.

(Reporting by Shubham Batra and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman and Varun H K)


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