European stocks on track for best month this year; Volkswagen tumbles



Fri, 29 Sep 2017 - 12:04 GMT


Fri, 29 Sep 2017 - 12:04 GMT

The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

LONDON - 29 September 2017: European stocks, propelled by a weaker euro, were heading for their best monthly gains this year on Friday, but Volkswagen shares sank on further provisions for its diesel scandal settlements.

A weakening euro has taken pressure off Europe's equities and especially the exporter-heavy DAX .GDAXI, helping investors find renewed enthusiasm for the asset class after the slow summer months.

The pan-European STOXX 600 steadied at a two-month high, while euro zone stocks .STOXXE hit their highest in three months, on track for a quarterly gain after falling back in the second quarter.

“Europe is ticking more and more boxes,” said Monique Wong, director of global markets at Coutts.

“It’s slightly slowed down with the appreciation of the currency but the euro is still a long way below previous highs.”

Analysts at Deutsche Bank expect earnings for the STOXX 600 to grow 11 percent in 2017, with the pick-up in global growth and rebound in commodities outweighing the negative effect of the stronger euro.

Credit Suisse upgraded German equities to overweight, saying the weaker euro would support the DAX.

On Friday Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) shares dropped 3 percent after the latest twist in the carmaker’s long-running diesel cheating scandal, when it said it was increasing provisions for settlements in North America.

Shares in Porsche (PSHG_p.DE), Volkswagen’s controlling shareholder, also fell 2.8 percent.

Investors have been weighing the pros and cons of investing in the autos sector, which is undergoing massive disruption as consumers begin to shun diesel and investments into electric vehicles gather pace.

But depressed valuations are tempting to some.

Goldman Sachs upgraded autos to overweight in early September.

“It’s a very unloved sector, at a 60 percent discount on price to earnings to the rest of Europe,” said Sharon Bell, head of European equity strategy at the U.S. bank.

“The sector has been hit by the strength of the euro as well, given its export focus.”

VW and Porsche dragged the sector index .SXAP down 0.5 percent, but it was still set for its best month this year as cyclical sectors across Europe made gains.

“European cyclicals have outperformed defensives by 5 percent over the past month, overshooting the fair-value levels implied by our models,” said Deutsche Bank analysts.

Dutch bank ABN AMRO (ABNd.AS) rose 2.1 percent after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the stock, saying it expected dividend payouts to increase.

Covestro (1COV.DE) pared earlier gains to trade up 0.4 percent, after Bayer (BAYGn.DE) further reduced its holding in the plastics producer to under 25 percent.



Leave a Comment

Be Social