By Barbara Kollmeyer
European stocks climbed on Wednesday, led by the technology sector as bond yields continue to ease up, while earnings rolled in from Akzo Nobel, Aegon and ABN Amro and more.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.91% rose 1.4% to 47, following a 0.7% gain on Tuesday. The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -2.04% rose 1.4%, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.97% rose 1.5% and the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.27% was up 0.6%. The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD -0.0982% and pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.0830% were little changed.
The bond market has been the center of action lately as investors weigh up possible interest-rate rises around the world. Perceived hawkish comments from European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde have driven up the euro in recent days. The 10-year German bund yield /zigman2/quotes/211347112/realtime BX:TMBMKDE-10Y +11.92% was down 3 basis points to 0.231%, while Italy’s 10-year bond /zigman2/quotes/211347230/realtime BX:TMBMKIT-10Y +5.04% fell 4 basis points to 1.79%.
The bigger focus this week will fall on U.S. consumer-price inflation for Thursday as a Federal Reserve meeting and expected interest-rate hike looms for March. U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed YM00 -0.04% /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 -0.09% /zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed NQ00 -0.14% pointed to a higher open for Wall Street as the 10-year Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -0.88% yield also fell.
Data from Germany showed a rise in exports for December, but at slower pace than imports, statistics office Destatis said Wednesday.
Interest-rate sensitive tech stocks were getting a lift on easing bond yields, with shares of ASML Holding /zigman2/quotes/210293876/composite ASML -1.66% up 2.6%, ASM International /zigman2/quotes/201180544/delayed NL:ASM -1.60% up 2.6% and AMS-Osram /zigman2/quotes/204183137/delayed AT:AMS -5.31% up 3.7%.
Several stocks were reacting to earnings news. Shares of Ayden /zigman2/quotes/205351021/delayed NL:ADYEN +1.04% led the gainers, with shares up 11%, after the Dutch payments group reported a forecast-beating 62% rise in second-half net profit and an upbeat view.
Pandora stock /zigman2/quotes/205851124/delayed DK:PNDORA -2.71% climbed nearly 6%, after the Danish jeweler proposed a new 3.3 billion Danish kroner ($506.2 million) share buyback and said its current performance remains solid, with continued profit growth. After preleasing fourth-quarter figures last month, Pandora said organic growth was 23% in January.
On the other end, shares of Aegon /zigman2/quotes/204800863/delayed NL:AGN -0.77% tumbled 5%. The Dutch insurance and asset-management company reported a significant rise in net profit for the fourth quarter of 2021, which came in above market views, and said it continues to reduce its expenses. However, analysts zeroed in on results that they saw as mixed and conservative guidance from the group.
Also reporting was Akzo Nobel /zigman2/quotes/201828797/delayed AT:AKZO -3.55% , whose shares got a 3% lift after the Dutch paints company announced plans for a new 500 million euro ($570.9 million) share-buyback program after reporting a market-beating net profit for the fourth quarter of the year.
Siemens Energy /zigman2/quotes/221435471/delayed XE:ENR -1.12% shares rose 1.5%, after the German energy company swung to a net loss for the quarter ended Dec. 31, and reported an 11% fall in revenue, though that was in line with a warning from the company last month. That followed a profit warning from its subsidiary Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
GlaxoSmithKline shares /zigman2/quotes/200381158/delayed UK:GSK -0.68% /zigman2/quotes/209463850/composite GSK -1.59% were up 0.5%. The COVID-19 vaccine maker posted a rise in final-quarter 2021 net profit that came short of a company-provided consensus, but sales beat expectations. Glaxo said it expects to deliver sales growth in 2022 of between 5% to 7% at constant exchange rates.
The pharmaceutical giant also said the demerger of its consumer healthcare business was on track to happen in mid-2022.