European Stocks Advance as Euro Falls After U.S. Payroll Data

Updated on
  • U.S. data also show wage growth accelerated, jobless rate 5%
  • Richemont and luxury-goods peers fall as China demand wanes

Richemont may be active after the owner of the Cartier and Montblanc brands forecast a challenging second half and reported first-half earnings that trailed analyst estimates.

Photographer: Philipp Schmidli/Bloomberg

European stocks advanced as better-than-expected U.S. jobs data fueled the possibility of a Federal Reserve rate hike this year, weakening the euro currency and boosting the attractiveness of exports from the region.

Germany’s DAX Index was among the biggest gainers of western-European indexes, with BMW AG and HeidelbergCement AG adding at least 2.2 percent. Cie. Financiere Richemont SA slid 5.7 percent, leading a gauge of personal-and-household goods stocks to among the worst performances on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, after the owner of Cartier and Montblanc forecast a challenging end to its year amid a slump in demand for watches in Asia. Swatch Group AG and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE fell at least 2.7 percent.

The Stoxx 600 rose 0.3 percent to 379.95 at the close of trading, paring earlier gains of as much as 0.9 percent. The equity gauge reversed losses of as much as 0.7 percent after U.S. Labor Department data showed payrolls rose by 271,000 last month, beating all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists, while wage growth accelerated and the jobless rate fell to 5 percent.

“Yellen now has the credit to hike rates in December and consensus will be even higher, she can’t go against the evidence that the U.S. economy is doing better,” said John Plassard , a senior equity-sales trader at Mirabaud in Geneva. “A weaker euro will help exporters and particularly the German economy.”

The euro slid to a seven-month low against the dollar after the release. Fed officials including Chair Janet Yellen this week said they could raise interest rates in December if data are supportive. Traders now price in a 70 percent chance of an increase in borrowing costs at next month’s meeting, up from 50 percent earlier this week.

The Stoxx 600 posted a 1.2 percent weekly advance. It has climbed 12 percent from a Sept. 29 low, recouping about two-thirds of the losses from a summer rout amid Chinese stimulus measures and expectations that the European Central Bank will continue to support the region’s economy.

Among other shares moving on corporate news, Erste Group Bank AG jumped 9.4 percent after Austria’s biggest bank said profitability this year will be at the upper end of its guidance because of lower bad-debt provisions.

Bpost SA advanced 8.7 percent after reaffirming its 2015 earnings forecasts and JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its rating on the shares to neutral from underweight, similar to sell. TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc rose 2.4 percent after the British Internet provider said the scale of an October hack attack was “much more limited” than initially suspected.

A gauge of miners fell the most on the Stoxx 600, led by BHP Billiton Ltd. and Glencore Plc, which fell at least 4.7 percent, as commodity prices declined.

Sanofi fell 6.8 percent after France’s biggest company by market value said it will explore strategic options for its Merial animal health and European generics businesses.

Allianz SE slipped 1.1 percent after Europe’s biggest insurer said third-quarter profit dropped 15 percent as earnings at its property and casualty and asset management units declined.